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Benefits of a Gender-Specific Approach to Recovery

At Renaissance Ranch, our outpatient addiction recovery program is gender-specific. This means that women and men are separated as they go through treatment, rather than many environments where they’re in the same programs.

Why do we feel a gender-specific approach makes the most sense for addiction recovery? There are a few big reasons. Here are some of the most important.

Different Development and Addiction Response

Men and women differ in the way they develop addiction habits, and in how they respond to addiction. There are several areas that might vary here:

  • Development: Addiction changes brain function in both genders, but manifests itself differently in many cases. Instances of violence, depression, sexual risks and other common addictive behaviors will vary drastically.
  • Treatment access: Nearly everyone who struggles with addiction finds some barrier to treatment, but men and women cite different barriers. Women are more likely to worry about childcare and social stigma when seeking treatment, while men are more worried about financial concerns and being perceived as “weak.”
  • Response: Women often need to address issues like sexual abuse, eating disorders and unhealthy relationships. Men often need to address different issues, such as anger management, emotional distance and father/son relationships.

These are generic examples, but they’re themes that hold true in the majority of cases. Gender-specific treatment allows for more individualized attention within these themes.

Open Communication, Stronger Bond

Many participants in a group treatment setting simply feel less comfortable being fully transparent while members of the other gender are present. Limiting these group to the same sex allows many people to be more comfortable and open, and develop closer bonds – all big factors in recovery success.

Distractions

The opposite sex can also often provide distractions for those seeking recovery, and this offers an additional challenge. Those struggling with addiction are particularly vulnerable during early stages, and attempting to form healthy romantic relationships is incredibly difficult at any stage of recovery. Gender-specific programs remove this distraction from being possible.

For more information on our gender-specific approach, or on any part of our outpatient addiction treatment program, speak to the friendly staff at Renaissance Ranch today.