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Why is Separating Men and Women Important in Recovery?

Counseling psychology. Psychotherapist comforting sad female patient during therapy session in office, empty space

Research shows men and women have different addiction treatment needs. This is because drug and alcohol addiction affects each gender differently. 

  • Physically – The bodies of men and women are different, so their bodies process drugs and alcohol differently. For example, research shows that women may be more vulnerable to stimulants such as methamphetamines and cocaine because estrogen can increase sensitivity. 
  • Socially – Women struggling with addiction are more likely to experience sexual or physical abuse than men. They are also less likely to have finished high school or struggle to keep a job. Women may also deal with CPS more than men and may continue using drugs or alcohol during pregnancy. 
  • Psychologically – Women are less likely to develop addictions than men. However, when women become addicted to drugs or alcohol, it happens quickly. As a result, women who enter a women’s treatment center often have more severe behavioral, psychological, medical, and social issues than men. 

The Benefits of Rehab for Women

Addiction has different consequences for each gender. For women, it may be a moral issue. For men, it is often their ego and standing in society. While it is unfair, women are often seen as morally bankrupt and will do questionable acts to obtain drugs. The fear of being judged can stop women from seeking help.

For many women, rehab for women can feel safer. Women are less likely to judge each other, making for a more comfortable environment. While this is important for recovery, the following are also benefits of a women’s rehab center.

During recovery, men and women should only focus on their recovery. When men and women are in treatment together, it can be a distraction. Many people believe in the One Year Rule, no sex for one year, and having gender-specific treatment takes away that distraction.

Women often put their needs behind those of their partners and children. This includes seeking help for their addiction. Women’s treatment centers provide comfortable settings for women to put their needs first and focus on self-care.

Life’s stressors and unhealthy coping skills lead to addiction in women. Women often struggle with eating disorders, mental health disorders, and trauma such as sexual and physical abuse. Rehab for women offers unique treatment plans to help women work through these issues compassionately.

Women’s rehab is typically more accepting of all women, including transgender women and others in the LGBTQ+ community. While women from higher socioeconomic backgrounds may not understand the financial struggles of others, all women can relate to the emotional struggles of being a woman with an addiction. 

At Casco Bay Recovery, we understand the unique needs of women and the benefits of a women-only rehab in Maine.

Statistics on Drug Abuse in Men vs. Women

Before the 1990s, studies on drug and alcohol abuse only studied men. However, once women were included, researchers found a variety of differences in addiction between men and women. 

For instance, 11.5 percent of males over 12 struggle with substance abuse compared to 6.4 percent of females. But, women are more likely to overdose fatally. From 2010 to 2015, 50,000 women died from drug overdoses. Without help from a women’s treatment center, these numbers will continue rising.

Drug Rehab Needs in Men vs. Women

Not only are men and women biologically different, their reasons and impact of addiction are different. Therefore, treating addiction in men vs. women must also be different. Attending gender-specific rehabs is more effective since they address gender-specific issues. 

Women typically progress quickly from first drink or drug use to dependence and addiction. They also develop more severe medical, behavioral, psychological, and social issues. Women’s rehab addresses each of these issues with more of an impact. 

Additionally, women have pregnancy and motherhood issues that need addressing in treatment. Women juggle childcare, careers, managing the home, and other family responsibilities. All of this is on top of needing to attend addiction treatment. Women’s rehab is often tailored around these needs. 

Men, however, will seek treatment but not admit they have mental health struggles. While women tend to abuse prescription drugs, men are more likely to abuse drugs like heroin. Men’s addiction treatment should address men’s gender-specific needs to ensure lasting recovery.

Women’s Rehab in Maine at Casco Bay Recovery

Women all over Maine struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. In turn, their families are negatively impacted. The women’s rehab center at Casco Bay Recovery offers unique women-specific treatment to help women find lasting recovery. 

We believe each woman’s recovery flourishes because we tailor treatment to each client. Through several levels of care and multiple approaches, we meet our clients where they are in their recovery. 

Additionally, we simultaneously treat co-occurring mental health disorders. For many women, addiction and mental health disorders go hand-in-hand, and treating both can break the cycle of addiction.