Substance use disorders/addiction progress differently in women than in men. There are many various factors that could influence this such as interactions among biological, environmental, socio-cultural, and developmental influences. Here at My Recovery Source, we’d like to talk about gender-specific rehab, how addiction affects women, how addiction affects men, and how we can help you or your loved one find addiction treatment today.

What Is Gender-Specific Rehab?

A gender-specific rehab program helps to focus on specific problems of addiction and recovery that affect a certain gender. Sex differences affect the brain and this affects how drugs will affect the brain as well. Gender-specific rehab is designed for the treatment of a specific gender. This will allow clients to be comfortable in the recovery process, while being focused on their recovery. Within specific rehab programs, treatment provides a way to focus on the differences of gender and how it affects an individual’s addiction. The treatment may focus on the physical effects, mental effects, socio-cultural effects, psychological effects, etc., that influence their addiction or recovery. 

How Does Addiction Affect Women?

Women have a shorter history of using certain substances such as cocaine, opioids, marijuana, alcohol, etc. Though women have a shorter history with certain substances they typically have more severe medical, psychological, behavioral, and social problems when entering substance use disorder treatments. Women also show a quicker progression from the initial use of the substance to developing dependency. Women may increase the amount and frequency of drug-taking, and the risk of escalation is more rapid than men such as alcohol, drugs, or gambling. Women are more likely to relapse than men.

Women who are pregnant or have young children may not actively seek treatment or drop out of treatment early because their children need to be cared for. There may be many “burdens” that women have to carry that can be overwhelming and cause them to drop out of treatment. Successful treatment in women requires a level of support that can take the stress off of her shoulders. Drug-taking may also be influenced by ovarian hormones, estradiol and progesterone, in women. For example, women tend to drink more alcohol during the premenstrual phase and estradiol plays a role in the acquisition of cocaine-taking behavior. Overall, hormones of the menstrual cycle may enhance the initial reinforcement effect that a woman may get from drug abuse. This may show that women can possibly be more vulnerable to addiction than men.

How Does Addiction Affect Men?

Men are more likely to use all types of illicit drugs in comparison to women. Men are also more likely to engage in risky behaviors but have a slower escalation than women. Men’s addictive behavior is established and stabilized at lower doses of drugs, and men also experience greater withdrawal symptoms (from alcohol) than women. Lastly, men have longer periods of abstinence than women. There is a lot more research done on men than there is on women when it comes to addiction. Men sort of set the standard for addiction whereas women change that standard. 

How My Recovery Source Can Help

Here at My Recovery Source, we are a search engine that can help clients to find gender-specific rehab that our clients can benefit from. Drug addiction is a major public health concern, and it is important to prevent drug addiction when it comes to men and women. It is also important to understand the differences in the sexes and genders when it comes to substance abuse.  Every person is different, so everyone will have a different experience when it comes to addiction,  but it is important to understand the biological influences of addiction. Reach out to us today to find a treatment program that best fits your needs!

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