According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), men are more likely than women to abuse most types of illicit drugs and to misuse prescription drugs. Additionally, illicit drug use is responsible for more ER visits and overdose deaths in men than women.1 Studies have indicated that men and women use drugs differently, have different responses to drugs, and even respond in unique ways to treatment.1 If you’re a man struggling with addiction, an all-male rehab may be the right place for you.
Addiction is a highly personal disease, and treatment for each person should be specialized to suit individual needs to enhance long-term recovery. Programs may cater specifically to certain ages, sexual orientation, or gender, among other things. Treatment programs that are designed to accommodate men only will have different features and focus on issues and concerns that apply mainly to males.
Men tend to have higher rates of illicit drug use, abuse, and dependence on drugs than women, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports, and men and women experience addiction differently. Not only do men have a different biological makeup than women, they may also use drugs differently than women. For instance, men generally have more opportunities to use drugs than women do, and men often wait longer to seek treatment for issues surrounding problematic drug use, the journal Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology publishes.
Men are also typically expected to act a certain way. They are often not particularly encouraged to share feelings and experiences in mixed-gender situations. A male-only treatment program can alleviate gender pressures and allow men to interact with other men who can relate to what they are going through, giving them a forum that is free of judgment and biases related to their gender. Many treatment facilities offer programs that are gender-specific and cater to either women only or men only. Programs may include male-only residential treatment options, outpatient services, and support groups.
Drug Abuse Among Men
Drug abuse and addiction are major concerns for both men and women; however, there are some differences in how these groups use drugs. For example:
- Men have higher rates of alcohol consumption, overall. With the exception of adolescents and young adults (individuals 12-20), men drink more and binge drink more than women.
- Marijuana use is more common among men than women.
- Men who have marijuana use disorders are more likely than women to also abuse other drugs or have antisocial personality disorder.
- Men use greater amounts of heroin on the whole than women, and they are more likely to inject heroin.
- Men are more likely than women to abuse prescription pain medications.
- Men report having used illegal drugs more often than women.
- Some estimates place men 2 to 3 times more likely than women to have “drug abuse/dependence” disorders.
Types of Drug Rehab for Men
About one in 12 adults in the United States suffered from addiction in 2014, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), and NIDA reports that there are over 14,500 different drug abuse treatment facilities offering a range of programs and options to choose from. Generally speaking, the first step in a drug addiction treatment program is an evaluation and detailed assessment performed by highly trained professionals who can work directly with families and individuals to design a treatment plan for recovery.
Different drug treatment facilities may offer variable types of programs and amenities. Many facilities provide the following types of gender-specific and male-only treatment options:
- Detox facilities
- Men’s residential treatment programs: In residential or men’s inpatient treatment, addiction treatment is provided around the clock as individuals remain on site for the duration of the program. These programs are highly structured and provide a range of treatment forms and amenities as well as 24/7 care and supervision. Male-only residential programs may make it easier for some men to focus on recovery without distractions.
- Intensive outpatient programs: These programs are run similarly to residential programs during the day with the main difference being that the individual will return home each night to sleep.
- Outpatient programs: Individuals who require more flexibility in a treatment plan due to work, family, or school obligations may benefit from an outpatient program where sessions and meetings can be scheduled around these other commitments. This treatment type is generally reserved for those with strong support systems at home.
- Group therapy and counseling: Therapy and counseling sessions can be tailored to a male-only crowd, thus highlighting specific issues and concerns that may arise for men during addiction treatment and recovery. Men may require different methods for uncovering potentially harmful thoughts and behaviors, and male-only groups may help with this.
- Educational programs and life skills training sessions: Men can benefit from topics and skills designed specifically for their gender, as men and women often differ in how they approach both treatment and recovery.
- Peer support and 12-Step programs: Male-only support groups help men to form a healthy support network of other individuals with similar life goals and aspirations. They also provide an outlet that is free of judgment.
- Sober living homes and transitional substance abuse programs for men: These programs and living environments offer a kind of a transitional option between a structured treatment program and returning home. Male-only sober living homes can help men to create a support system in a less pressured environment, which can then allow them to ensure that the habits learned in treatment become more ingrained before fully integrating back into society.