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Rehab for Men

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National data have consistently shown gender to be an important factor to consider when examining substance abuse trends. Socially constructed definitions of gender and the resulting societal pressures can often play a major role in influencing the pattern of addiction differently in men than compared to women, alongside obvious biological differences.

Several national surveys have depicted almost twice a higher susceptibility in men to develop a substance abuse disorder than women. Over one-third of the U.S. male population has been dependent on drugs or alcohol at some stage in their lives. The Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), a census of all admissions to treatment facilities reported to SAMSHA, showed that in 2011, about 609,000 of the 1.84 million admissions to substance abuse treatment were female (33.1 percent), and 1.23 million were male (66.9 percent).

Sovereign Health Group is a residential rehabilitation treatment company for substance abuse, mental health disorders and dual diagnosis. Our expert staff provides our patients with cutting-edge treatment programming and a full continuum of therapeutic care monitored by various licensed health professionals.

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Even though men and women turn to alcohol and/or drugs for various reasons, there are still important biological and psychosocial factors that must be considered during the process of treatment.

Psychosocial influences

Addiction is strongly related to an individual’s quest for integrating the distinguished gender scripts, masculinity and femininity, to achieve wholeness. This is why rigid gender roles and societal pressures can often be factors in a person’s struggle with drugs or alcohol. The expectations of men in society are obviously different than those for women, but they can be just as damaging and stressful.

For instance, men are expected to be strong and composed. This often robs them of a healthy way of expressing their emotions, leading to depression and anxiety. Hence, it is not uncommon for men to turn to the help of drugs and alcohol to deal with such psychosocial pressures. Men can also externalize certain emotions, which lead to aggressive, impulsive and noncompliant behavior. If a man develops a substance abuse problem, these behaviors can be magnified and a man can become dangerously violent.

Additionally, men are more likely than women to have anti-social disorders, which can often lead to self-medication and, without proper treatment, this pattern can develop into a substance abuse problem or addiction. Considering social settings, men are more open to drug experimentation and abuse for recreational purposes.

Biological influences

Both pharmacokinetic research, which focuses on the absorption, metabolism and excretion of drugs, and pharmacodynamic research, which studies the physiological and biochemical effects of drugs, has highlighted significant gender-based variations. It is understood that men and women metabolize and respond to drugs differently.

The effects of drugs are altered by the levels of hormones a person has in his or her body, which differs between men and women. Since men have lower levels of estrogen than women, they would need different amounts of drugs or alcohol in order to reach the same level of intoxication as women.

The body composition is another factor affecting how men deal with drugs or alcohol. Men tend to have less body fat and leaner muscle mass than women of a similar body size. Since some drugs accumulate in fatty tissue, men are affected less than women because they will feel the effects for a shorter period of time than women would. Men are also known to metabolize drugs faster than women.

Treatment at Sovereign Health

Knowing the variations in substance abuse trends based on gender can help shape better treatment alternatives. Research on the added benefits of gender-specific treatments is limited. However, detailed and individualized treatments have been proven to provide better outcomes.

That is why Sovereign Health offers its patients state-of-the-art, individualized treatment programs following an all-encompassing approach. Our residential houses are gender specific, but our group programs do bring our male and female patients together for treatment. Additionally, our group therapy and therapeutic activities provide customized treatment for our patients.

Our programs are designed around gender-specific treatments. While some of the therapeutic groups are combined between men and women the majority are specific to women or men only. Processing issues in recovery can be difficult for each gender, so the separation provides patients support as they begin to consider what led them to treatment. These reasons vary between genders. Additionally, the residences are all gender specific so women reside with other women and men with men.

Our facility in Chandler, Arizona is specifically designed for women only with a trauma specific program, which provides specialized treatment for this demographic. Our facility in Utah, named White River Academy, particularly deals with young adolescent boys.

Since Sovereign is essentially one of the very few behavioral health centers, we are licensed to treat both mental health and addiction. Our individual therapy puts more emphasis on treating any underlying conditions and possible gender-based variables that a patient may be dealing with. We incorporate psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy in our treatments to target the specific mental and emotional issues men deal with during recovery. Our aim is to customize treatment plans to accommodate each individual as much as possible, in order to prevent the risk of relapse and ensure a sustained recovery.

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