Men-only rehab programs address specific issues that challenge men struggling with addiction. These programs incorporate gender-specific treatment methods into a comprehensive plan to give an individual the best chance for recovery.
Social expectations for men may influence the way they react to treatment. Some men are hesitant to share their feelings. Others may be negatively affected by confrontational tactics or being told what to do. Treatment for men should consider such factors, as well as unique, individual needs.
Treatment Methods In Men-Only Rehab Programs
Some types of treatment that may be helpful in drug and alcohol rehab programs for men include:
- anger management
- learning to nurture
- coping strategies
- adventure therapy
Men who have difficulty expressing their emotions may manifest their feelings through anger and aggression. Substance abuse can make anger a more frequent reaction to unpleasant situations. Some drugs can increase violent tendencies, and drug use can also be a way to deal with anger.
Using drugs to relieve emotional discomfort can damage the brain’s ability to naturally alleviate stress. Anger management can help men find healthy outlets for their emotions. It may teach men that it is safe to be vulnerable and express how they feel. It can also show them how to channel their anger or other emotions into productive, rather than destructive, behaviors.
Learning To Nurture
A man may experience shame or guilt in regards to his substance abuse. These feelings may be intensified if a man is a husband or father responsible for providing for his family. Addiction can lead someone to be unable to take care of the people most important to him.
Men-only rehab programs may seek to remedy this by teaching men how to be nurturers. Some men are accustomed to competitive or aggressive activities. Creative interests like art or music may be used to help men to think and act differently.
Another way for men to learn nurturing is to help others. This may be done through volunteering in the community.
Coping strategies are taught in many drug and alcohol rehab programs, and they can be specifically used to help men deal with rejection. It may be necessary for a man’s family or friends to restrict certain freedoms for his own good as he recovers. Men may feel that someone saying “no” to them is an indication of their self-worth.
Helping men to realize that rejection is the result of outside factors may prevent it from being a trigger for substance abuse. Positive coping strategies may be taught through cognitive-behavioral therapy, counseling, support groups, or other therapy methods.
Gender roles can have a significant impact on individual therapy. The dynamic between men and women is important to consider when a person chooses a therapist. Since everyone has different needs, a men-only rehab program will likely assess the individual in order to pair him with the best therapist.
A man may develop a sexual attraction to a female therapist, which could inhibit treatment. It could also simply be an indication that they have developed a bond. For some men, having a female therapist may be a way to form a healthy relationship with someone of the opposite sex.
Many men suffering from drug addiction may feel more comfortable opening up to a male therapist. The therapist could demonstrate through appropriate self-sharing that it is safe for the patient to be vulnerable. This common ground could lead to a stronger bond male bond, which may lead to more effective therapy.
Adventure therapy uses exhilarating activities to help men develop self-esteem and healthy interests. Activities like mountain climbing, white-water rafting, and ropes courses can provide a natural rush of good emotions and happy hormones to replace the high associated with drug use.
Often taking place in the wilderness, adventure therapy can challenge a person’s survival skills and require them to overcome obstacles. It can build their self-confidence. Men-only adventure therapy programs can encourage men to work together and form healthy relationships.
Gender Differences In Substance Abuse And Addiction Treatment
Male and female bodies are different. They react to things in different ways. A man may be able to handle more drugs and alcohol at a time than a woman. This could lead to an increased buildup of substances in the body and may be one reason why men develop substance abuse issues more often than women.
Sexual abuse is often linked to substance abuse and is more likely to be committed by men. Men who have abused others may benefit from gender-specific treatment that can deal with these issues.
Some men also suffer from domestic abuse and many have experienced sexual abuse in childhood. This sort of trauma can lead to co-occurring disorders. Many inpatient drug and alcohol rehab programs for men offer dual-diagnosis treatment to deal with these issues along with addiction.
Violent crimes are more frequently committed by men than women and have been linked to substance abuse in many cases. Alcohol is often involved, but other drugs can cause violent behavior as well. Court-ordered drug rehab may be a requirement for men who are convicted of a crime related to substance abuse.
Men who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction are more likely than women to enter substance abuse treatment as a result of someone else’s suggestion. Employers, family members, or the criminal justice system may demand that a man seeks help for his addiction, and it may be the push he needs.
Finding A Drug And Alcohol Rehab Program For Men
Drug and alcohol rehab programs for men may provide the opportunity for more effective treatment. Addressing gender-specific issues in a safe environment can help men develop positive relationships and deal with relevant issues.
Besides gender, there are many additional factors that may affect treatment needs. Inpatient drug rehab centers work with individuals to develop the best treatment program for them. Healing the whole person can lead to a complete recovery.
To learn more about drug and alcohol treatment programs for men, contact us today.
National Center for Biotechnology Information — Addressing the Specific Behavioral Health Needs of Men: Treatment Issues for Men
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism — Gender and Use of Substance Abuse Treatment Services