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Gender-Specific Treatment (and Why It’s Essential)

By July 24, 2012 No Comments
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gender-specific addiction treatmentFor years, addiction treatment was primarily geared toward chemically dependent men. Oftentimes, women who struggled with the disease of addiction isolated from the rest of society due to the intense shame and stigma that surrounded them. Up until the early 1990s, very little research had been conducted on the issues women face in active addiction. As a result, they were placed in the same treatment programs as their male counterparts.

While research on the topic of addiction in men and women is ongoing, great strides have been made in responding to the distinctive experiences of each gender. Addicted women face different challenges than men, as their bodies become dependent on drugs and alcohol at a much faster rate and at lower levels of use. Additionally, they experience medical and social consequences of their substance abuse quicker, and statistics reveal the chance of relapse is greater.

At MARR, we not only believe in long-term addiction treatment (a minimum of 90 days), but we place great emphasis on gender-specific programs as well. Women tend to use drugs and alcohol for different reasons than men, and separate treatment allows us to address these core issues in a supportive and safe environment. From post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and disordered eating in women to anger management and emotional intimacy issues in men, MARR meets the unique needs of each client.

Gender-separate treatment also eliminates distraction between members of the opposite sex. This is crucial in early sobriety, so as to give clients ample time to discover the underlying contributing factors and causes of their addiction. All too often, mixed-gender treatment ‘muddies the water,’ and clients seek other ways (i.e. relationships) to fill the void, replace the substance(s) and escape the emotional distress that is at the root of their addiction.

MARR not only believes in the power of gender-specific treatment, but we also ensure our male and female clients are far enough apart (20 miles) to eliminate intermingling. In addition to intensive group and individual therapy, they acquire important life skills in a therapeutic community environment. Throughout their stay, clients address core issues, learn how to live without the use of drugs and alcohol, and discover a newfound appreciation for themselves and others.

We consider it a tremendous blessing to witness so many clients break free from the vicious cycle of addiction and live a life beyond their wildest dreams. Through MARR’s gender-specific programs, Therapeutic Community model and long-term treatment, lasting recovery is possible.


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