Recovery can have different approaches to treatment. These different approaches help you find the best program to fit your needs and help you be the most successful in reaching your goals of long-term sobriety. The programs may vary in the method of treatment, duration, and gender.
Spero Recovery wants to help you find the best program to fit your needs and give you the best chance on your recovery journey.
How the Body and Mind React to Substance Use
Men and women have different hormone and chemical levels in the body. This means their bodies will respond differently to substance use.
According to Jill B. Becker, Michele L. McClellan, and Beth Glover Reed in their article about sex differences in addiction published in J Neurosci Res. in 2017, men and women differ in substance use disorder by:
- More likely to use and become addicted to a substance due to peer pressure
- Takes longer to build a tolerance to the substance
- Experience more symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol
- More likely to maintain sobriety for long periods of time
- Men are more likely to start using at a younger age than women
- Use illicit substances to self-medicate
- Quickly build up a tolerance
- At a higher risk of experiencing more side effects of substance use and overdose
- Experience worse symptoms of withdrawal from nicotine
- More likely to relapse
- Women are more likely to abuse prescription drugs
Approaches to Treatment
Responses to experiences, behaviors, and mental health conditions can vary depending on gender. This is because men and women have different values instilled in them, so they have different things that are more important to them. The difference in importance means that there need to be different approaches to treatment.
There are a number of differences in treatment outcomes and approaches for men and women. These include the following.
Treatment for Men
In treatment, men generally:
- Seek out help after a family member expresses concerns regarding their substance use
- Need to be allowed and taught how to embrace their emotions and reach out for help
- Require a safe and comfortable environment to share things, especially things they may not feel comfortable sharing in front of women
- Benefit from group sessions that focus on building strength against substance addiction
Treatment for Women
In general, women:
- Tend to wait to seek out treatment until they have a serious side effect from their substance use
- Are less likely to stay in a treatment facility for more than 30 days because of feeling guilty for not focusing on their other responsibilities, such as children
- Need to feel like they are part of a community
- May require childcare so that women can be close to their children while seeking treatment
- Could benefit from group sessions that provide comfort and a nurturing atmosphere
Additionally, treatment may be more trauma-based for women because they are more likely to experience traumatic events while under the influence of a substance. This means an emphasis on making the participants feel safe and comfortable.
Spero Recovery’s Approaches to Treatment
Spero is a non-profit recovery treatment facility. We are able to keep the cost of our programs below the national average because we use grants and donations for funding. This makes us attractive to underinsured and uninsured individuals seeking high-quality care and long-term success in sobriety.
Our programs are divided into men and women because we know that there are different needs to be met. We put emphasis on different things for each program:
- Men: For men, it is more centered around overcoming the thought process of “being a man.” This means they work to help men accept that they need help and that it is ok to not only have feelings but to express them in a healthy way.
- Women: For women, the program is more focused on meditation. The use of meditation can help the women look inward on past behavior, evaluate it to make changes, and rediscover who they are in their new sober life.
Both programs use peer-led experiential therapy and are based on the 12-Step model. Our 12-Step model is not religiously affiliated, but it does follow the fundamentals. These fundamentals include self-evaluation, accepting and coming to terms with any wrongdoings, and working to achieve long-term sobriety.
Our experiential therapies are alumni-led activities. These activities include hiking, cooking classes, woodworking, and sand volleyball. This can be beneficial for the alumni and the person working the program. It gives the person in the program the opportunity to connect with someone who has been successful in completing the program and maintaining long-term sobriety.
They also may feel more open to confiding in the alumni because they know the alumni have been in a similar situation. Alumni are able to connect with and give back to their community. It can help them build confidence, find a purpose in their sober life, and develop skills.
Treatment is unique and should be individualized for everyone and anyone seeking it. That’s why there are different approaches, depending on gender, because of the stigmas and expectations placed on your sex. These factors have to be taken into account to ensure you are getting the correct care to meet your current needs and that you have the best chance for long-term sobriety. If you feel like you are struggling to find the right treatment while in recovery, reach out to Spero Recovery at (303) 351-7888 for more information today. You are not alone in this journey. We want to help you get the right treatment to prosper in your recovery journey.