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Effective Gender Group Treatment For Addiction

When it comes to rehab gender differences in addiction treatment each gender meaning women and mens’ programs are developed for each sex. Gender group treatment therapy works to help people in various ways.  It provides comfort to those who may be uncomfortable discussing their challenges around individuals of the opposite sex. 

It also encourages people by letting them know that they are not alone; other women and men also struggle with substance abuse.  The Gender Group is a closed support/social group for people who self-identify or may be identified by others as a transgender, genderqueer, bigender, crossdresser, or any other identity that may fall under the umbrella of trans.

Addiction Affects Genders in Different Ways

Men and women experience addiction differently.  National data shows that gender is an essential factor to consider when examining patterns of substance abuse, including overall prevalence rates and substances of choice.  For example, men are more likely than women to report marijuana and alcohol use, whereas women are more likely than men to report non-medical prescription drugs.

Men and women also differ in why they started using drugs or alcohol in the first place.  Men tend to begin engaging in substance abuse because of the perceived benefits they hope to gain from it, such as better concentration, increased sociability, and even improved sex drive/performance. 

For women, substance abuse is more typically associated with traumatic experiences or abusive relationships.  As a result, women often turn to alcohol or drugs to self-medicate and escape painful emotions caused by victimization or abuse.  Most women who use drugs or alcohol also have a history of family substance abuse and may start using because their spouse or partner is.

Another essential difference between the gender groups is that women often begin using abuse substances at lower doses than men, and their drug use also escalates more quickly into addiction.  Women tend to enter treatment sooner after becoming substance dependent than men, but they present with more co-occurring psychological distress, particularly with more mood and anxiety disorders.

Men and women may also have very different feelings about seeking treatment for drug or alcohol abuse.  These differences are significant and can require specific treatment types to help men and women maintain long-term sobriety after rehab.

Gender Group Treatment

Gender groups addiction treatment refers to drug and alcohol programs designed to treat men and women separately.  According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)[1], there are fundamental biological and cultural differences between men and women regarding substance abuse. 

For example, gender differences exist in dependence rates, substance choice, and how the brain responds to substance use.  Studies also show that women and men have different reasons for substance use in the first place and different circumstances that result in relapse. 

Gender groups treatment programs are sensitive to all of these issues and address each of the sexes’ unique needs in a comfortable and supportive environment.

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Benefits of Gender Group Treatment

In addition to differences in substance use, men and women also have different expectations and goals from addiction treatment.  As a result, gender groups programs offer multiple benefits for each gender, including:

  • Specialized treatment for gender-unique physiological, emotional, and relational issues
  • Elevated comfort as gender treatment encourages a sense of trust and bonding among fellow same-sex clients
  • We minimized sexual tension and distractions between male and female clients
  • Supportive gender-sensitive therapy groups inspire open communication about social and cultural pressures that can result in substance abuse

Men’s Treatment

Men have their own specific needs regarding addiction treatment, which usually has to do with male cultural roles and stereotypes.  Often feel wary of entering therapy out of fear of being judged or viewed as weak, and gender groups programs can help male clients feel more comfortable and accepted.  It also typically requires more time than women to open up and voice their struggles or emotions.  Therefore, specific therapy methods tend to be more helpful to men than others.

For example, men respond better to treatment methods that address particular thought patterns and behaviors rather than introspection. Gender groups treatment for men caters specifically to the physiological, psychological, and emotional needs of men.

Male sexual abuse is another serious issue that gender groups treatment addresses often overlooked in traditional treatment settings.  Sexual abuse is a sensitive issue for men that can handle more openly and honestly in a single-gender setting. 

In addition, men-specific treatment programs provide an understanding environment for men to build friendships and develop a support network for a lasting recovery.

Women’s Treatment

Women have their own specific needs separate from men when seeking treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, which makes women-specific programs a good option for some.  In addition, women can communicate with one another regarding things like motherhood, workplace dynamics, relationships, and family life in a safe and supportive environment.

Women that are entering treatment due to addiction after a traumatic event may particularly benefit from gender groups programs.  For example, women who have experienced verbal, physical, or sexual assault at a man’s hands may not feel safe discussing these events in group therapy that also includes male patients.  

Abuse usually involves a women’s sense of self-worth and value, and female patients may not feel comfortable discussing these topics in a group with men. 

Mothers who are suffering from addiction can also benefit from gender groups treatment. It can be challenging to be away from children during treatment, but with the support of other women and professionals, female clients can talk about what it means to have lived with addiction while trying to care for their kids.

In gender treatment, women receive unconditional love and support while recovering from the disease of addiction.  Women can empower one another and build a robust support system in women-specific treatment that gives them the life skills they need to lead a successful life after recovery.

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Importance Of Gender Group Therapy

While standard group therapy for addiction is still an essential part of our program, gender group therapy helps men and women establish common ground in recovery.  For instance, women might not feel comfortable talking about traumatic events around men.  This may especially be the case in situations that involved violence or sexual abuse by men.

On the other hand, men might hesitate to show vulnerability around women.  It may be hard for them to open up when women are around.  Gender therapy goes a long way in breaking down communication walls.

Gender group therapy also recognizes that a blanket treatment approach won’t always work for men and women.  Like no two individuals are alike, no two people took the same path to develop an addiction.  An individualized treatment approach gives men and women the best chance of recovery.

We Level Up Treatment Center rehab accounts for Gender Differences in Addiction treatment

Benefits Of Group Therapy

If you are working to recover from substance abuse, therapy can help immensely.  Individual therapy can certainly prove helpful, and it should be part of the treatment process.  However, group therapy brings its benefits to those who are in recovery. 

Group therapy:

  • Encourages teamwork
  • It helps to remind people that they are not alone
  • Allows individuals to communicate without fear of judgment
  • Provides a “safe place” for people to discuss their challenges and victories
  • It gives people a way to interact with one another without the use of alcohol or drugs
  • It creates an opportunity for people to develop lasting friendships with like-minded individuals

Here at We Level Up, we devote our time to making sure each client is comfortable.  Our goal is to help people find their way to total recovery from addiction.  We believe group therapy should be a significant part of that process.  After all, we want to encourage our patients that they are not alone.  Group therapy is a way to reiterate this truth.

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Programs With Gender Group Therapy

We offer a wide range of addiction treatment programs.  For example, these effective programs include:

If you’ve been struggling with substance abuse, know that we are here to offer hope and help.  Regardless of the kind of addiction you’ve been experiencing, we have resources to help you recover. 

Every program will be unique and custom for you.  Each person who enters our care has a different experience with addiction.  Therefore, along with gender group therapy, your program will include personalized modalities.  These treatment protocols will give you the best chance at a successful recovery.

Gender group therapy works to help people in various ways.  It provides comfort to those who may be uncomfortable discussing their challenges around individuals of the opposite sex.  It also encourages people by letting them know that they are not alone; other women and men also struggle with substance abuse.  Finally, gender-specific therapy helps create a safe, judgment-free environment and support system for recovery.

Importance Of Group Counseling

Group therapy helps people in recovery to develop healthy interpersonal skills.  Those striving to gain freedom from addiction can become more comfortable discussing their emotions and challenges throughout recovery.

Again, individuals who are working to overcome substance abuse have particular and unique needs.  One of the things treatment should address is that addiction often deprives people of some essential things.  For one, substance dependence causes people to feel shame.  Some individuals feel guilty because of their substance use problems. 

In many cases, families who have addicted loved ones have difficulty understanding their family members.  Likewise, many individuals who are struggling with addiction have trouble understanding their situations.

As a result of misunderstanding, guilt, and shame, those with addictions may withdraw from others.  Unfortunately, isolation is not uncommon in situations that involve addiction.  Men and women who struggle with alcohol or drug abuse may distance themselves from friends and family members. 

Also, many times, people who have addictions become secretive and withdraw to hide their substance use habits.  This sometimes happens to avoid confrontation. 

Finally, people who struggle with alcoholism or drug abuse often have trouble connecting with family members or friends.  As a result, they might have difficulty developing and building healthy relationships with others.  Or, they may maintain codependent relationships rather than ones based on healthy emotions. 

For all of these reasons, group therapy is a necessity when it comes to addiction treatment. Through group counseling sessions, people in recovery can work to develop meaningful and healthy interactions with others. 

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Gender and Relapse

Not surprisingly, women who have stopped using substances relapse under different circumstances than men do.  For example, women are more likely to relapse in the presence of a romantic partner than men are and are less likely to relapse when they are alone.  Women also are more likely to report interpersonal problems before relapse.

Nevertheless, consistent with findings of women’s better outcomes in other domains (e.g., post-treatment abstinence, retention in treatment), women are less likely than men to relapse overall, and women tend to have better long-term recovery outcomes.  Such results suggest that future research on gender differences in treatment outcomes should improve the understanding of the underlying factors that differ by gender and predict better developments (such as better therapeutic alliances among women in treatment) and reduced relapse.  Such a focus might further improve treatment outcomes for both men and women.

Gender And Treatment Outcomes

Many recent research efforts have addressed gender differences in treatment outcomes (which are defined in various ways, including abstinence rates and the number of days used substances in a particular period).  Despite concerns that women would fare worse than men, current evidence suggests that, overall, women’s substance abuse treatment outcomes are as good as, or better than, men’s treatment outcomes. 

For example, one recent study found that men and women were equally likely to complete treatment.  Still, women who completed treatment were nine times more likely to be abstinent than women who did not complete, whereas men who met treatment were only three times more likely to be abstinent than men who did not full treatment.

Small Part of Treatment Model

Even though gender group therapy is a vital piece of your recovery, it’s just a piece.  We also use individual therapy for substance abuse to provide a solid sobriety foundation.  Group therapy is, of course, a very critical factor in terms of addiction treatment.  But, as we mentioned earlier, individual therapy can also help people who are in recovery.  Through this approach, those in treatment can develop a healthy sense of self.  They can also become more comfortable in dealing with their struggles. 

There is no doubt that a group setting promotes peer camaraderie in recovery.  But a therapist or psychiatrist-led one-on-one session helps clients explore the reasons behind their addiction.  It’s essential, however, to understand that both of these types of therapy are important!  Those who receive our services here at We Level Up can rest assured that they will receive individualized care.  Whether a person needs to experience the benefits of gender group therapy or individual therapy sessions, we can help! 

Rehab Treatment Program

During our rehab treatment program, we promote healing through a reality-based therapy model.  At We Level Up, we believe that reality therapy is the best way to prepare individuals for post-treatment life.  Our program is committed to client success & invests in your recovery even after you leave, and providing you with a map back to your fullest, most authentic potential so you can choose a dream life without limitations.

At We Level Up Treatment Center, we provide world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals available to help you cope.  All are working as a team to provide you with the optimum gender groups program throughout your treatment.  Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life.  Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists.  Our specialists know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

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[1] National Survey on Drug Use and Health –

[2] NIAAA –

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