When transitioning back into regular life after rehab, the fewer distractions, triggers, and temptations the better. Although gender-specific sober livings may not seem essential, especially if you are gender fluid, for some people gender-specific housing can help them better focus on themselves and their recovery. This blog post mostly applies to heterosexual individuals who identify as either a man or a woman who are looking for an environment to become more secure in their sobriety.
The Benefits of Gender-Specific Sober Homes
A Safe Place
Sober homes are meant to be a safe place for you to become more secure in your sobriety and develop the skills to stay sober in regular life. Sober homes can feel safer and more comfortable when they are gender-specific. Of course, some individuals do not identify as a man or a woman, in which case you can choose to live in gender-specific or co-ed living. Some people, however, prefer to live in gender-specific homes as their experiences with addiction, as well as the experiences of other residents, may be similar due to their gender.
Effective Methods of Treatment for Specific Genders
Studies have shown men and women better respond to different modes of treatment. This means that gender-specific living can benefit the overall recovery of the individual. To illustrate this, here are some ways that gender-specific sober livings can benefit men:
- Studies have shown men are uncomfortable expressing their emotions and have difficulties identifying and understand their feelings. On the other hand, women are often in touch with their feelings and understand them better. Therefore, it is important for gender-specific treatment and homes for men so that they feel more comfortable exploring their feelings more transparently.
- There is research that shows that men will disclose their feelings and thoughts more with other men than with women.
Focusing on yourself and not romance
For heterosexual men and women, gender-specific sober homes make it easier for them to focus on their recovery and not be distracted by romance or sex. Many people share stories about sex and romance while in rehab and how these relationships ended up detrimentally affecting their sobriety.
Sex and relationships taking place at such an emotionally fragile time is not a good idea. If further emotional harm results from romantic relationships, it puts your recovery at serious risk and increases your chance of relapse. Especially at the beginning of recovery, you are very emotionally vulnerable and are still trying to develop new coping mechanisms to deal with your day-to-day life. Introducing romance and sex into the equation makes the situation much more complicated and risky.
Addiction is Different for Men and Women
Men and women generally struggle with different aspects of addiction. For instance, men usually struggle with different codependent diseases than women. Although every person is unique and has their own experiences, men and women experience both mental health and addiction differently necessitating different programs and environments for each. Here are some ways in which men and women experience addiction differently:
- Addiction is generally more likely among men than women, but women get addicted faster due to the effects of estrogen on dopamine
- Women are more susceptible to cravings and relapse and may need more treatment to address these specific issues
- Women are more likely to develop depression and anxiety, while men are more likely to become paranoid or aggressive
- Women often get addicted for different reasons, such as self-medication, peer pressure, and abuse, to a different degree than men
- Men are more likely to struggle with addiction if they start drug use early in life, that doesn’t matter much for women
- Men are more likely to be alcoholics and alcohol triggers a greater release of dopamine in men than in women
- Men are less likely to self-report addiction or substance misuse, while women are more likely to realize addiction and try to address it. Men require a greater focus on solving their denial and men are more likely to enter treatment when threatened as opposed to entering willingly
It is important to acknowledge, however, that to assume one’s addiction factors and experiences solely based on gender is not an accurate depiction of their addiction. Each person experiences addiction very differently, but the differences between how men and women are significant enough to suggest that treating them in gender-specific settings is advantageous.
Gender-Specific Sober Living at Design for Recovery
Design for Recovery is a sober living facility for men located in West Los Angeles. The home offers a highly structured program that can help even the most hopeless cases of addiction. Young men from all over the country flock to Design for Recovery because of the home’s history of helping people who have not had success in other sober homes and require further support to remain sober. At Design for Recovery, you can continue to address and understand your addiction with other men who have similar experiences.