Why Men Can Thrive in Gender-Specific Detox Programs
When individuals are diagnosed with an addiction, the first step is often to find a detox facility. Detox is a critical component of lasting recovery. With so many types of detox available, it can be difficult to narrow down the choices. For many, a dedicated men’s detox program will offer the greatest advantages to prospective patients.
Avoid Romantic Entanglement
During detox and rehab, patients of both genders and all ages are not supposed to begin new romantic relationships. These romantic entanglements, whether or not they are sexual in nature, can distract from recovery. In addition, they are often formed when patients are not making logical, rational choices. For that reason, many men will do better in men’s detox programs.
It is certainly true that many patients attend coed detox facilities and manage to avoid any romantic relationships in the process. However, it is an added layer of confusion during a vulnerable time. By removing women from the equation altogether, and creating a male-only space, patients will have one less concern to worry about. Temptation is already an issue during detox, so asking too much of willpower may be a mistake.
In addition, it is worth noting that men and women may not be in a place where they can agree to a romantic or sexual relationship. It is better from an ethical and legal standpoint to remove any confusion. Detox doesn’t last long, and it is far better to avoid any entanglements that could cause problems in the future.
Reduces Judgement for Patients
Addiction often leads to conflict, and many patients have conflicts in their past they are not proud of. Men may have been abusive to their wives, or they may have hurt women they cared deeply about. While resolution is important, many patients don’t want to feel judged while in treatment.
This is perfectly reasonable. Men, and indeed all patients, deserve the right to recovery in a judgement-free zone. Unfortunately, some men feel uncomfortable being around women in the first days of recovery. For that reason, it is often better to avoid the problem in the short-term and seek out a men’s only facility.
It is important to note that eventually, men will need to confront any issues they have relating to women. This can be done in a residential rehab facility following detox, or it could be part of an ongoing care program. By allowing detox to be a place free from judgement, men can leave those particular problems to a time in the future when they will be better equipped to handle them.
Facilities Cater to the Needs of Men
From a very practical standpoint, it makes sense to create detox facilities that are geared toward either men or women. Men often prefer certain types of food, facilities and amenities. By creating a men’s detox facility, patients will have access to more of the things they will appreciate the most.
Fitness and sports facilities are some things that are more commonly found in women’s and men’s detox facilities. Access to these amenities is appealing, but it can also be a key part of recovery. Staying active may play a significant role in recovering from addiction. By encouraging exercise and activity with attractive facilities, men’s detox programs can offer better results for patients.
On a smaller scale, there are also some ways that a men’s only detox program can help patients feel a little more at home. Decor, for example, can be geared to the general taste of men. A comfortable, attractive space can encourage relaxation and may even improve sleep for patients.
Even the food in detox can be catered to appeal to men. These small tweaks may seem insignificant, but they are the details that can improve the experience. If male patients succeed in detox, then they are more likely to continue with treatment and see lower relapse rates in the future.
Group Therapy In a More Comfortable Space
A major part of recovering from addiction is group therapy. This is a time when patients can share experiences, be vulnerable with one another and be open in a way that isn’t possible in the outside world. By offering group therapy where only men are participating, patients can relax, share more and be more comfortable overall.
In order for group therapy to be effective, participants need to be honest. However, that isn’t always easy, especially if honesty includes negative stories or opinions about women. Rather than sacrificing honesty to avoid hurt feelings, men can participate in group sessions that exclusively include other men. This allows for free conversation without the need to censor thoughts or events.
In addition, group therapy with male participants can be honest about relationships. For example, many men may struggle with feeling like the leader or breadwinner in the family because of addiction. Communicating this to others males may be easier than doing so in a mixed environment.
Curriculum Can Focus on Male Issues
In detox, the primary objective is for patients to break their physical ties to addictive substances like drugs, alcohol or prescription medications. At the same time, there may be a curriculum to educate patients. In a men’s only detox program, any and all curricula can focus exclusively on the priorities of male patients.
Men and women both share one common goal in detox–sobriety. Beyond that, there may be some stark differences between the genders. By identifying these differing priorities and concerns, detox programs can better equip patients for the road to recovery.
Men, for example, may not need to discuss sexual trauma or abuse as frequently as women. Men may want to focus on things like retaining masculinity without violence, being a leader without being aggressive, and reintegrating in the workplace with new social skills.
Recovery can be a challenging process for both men and women. One way to make it easier, and to increase the chance of successful, lifelong recovery, is for men to choose to begin recovery in a men’s only detox program.