According to a recent bulletin from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), men are more liable to abuse most illicit drugs, depend, and misuse prescribed drugs than women. Male-only addiction treatment exist to introduce special treatment programs designed to cater to men with different features that focus on issues and concerns that apply to the gender alone. These centers ‘ focus on issues such as traumas that lead to drug abuse and drug dependence. Read more at unitedrecoveryca.com
Their programs are designed to alleviate gender-based pressures by allowing men to communicate with one another and share their experiences. The forum allows a place that is free of judgment and gender-based biases. The programs also incorporate residential treatment options, support groups, and outpatient services.
Gender-based Differences in Drug Addiction
Despite the fact that males abuse more drugs and are more likely to develop drug problems than women, women are more likely to seek treatment after becoming dependent on sedatives such as sleep and anti-anxiety pills. Historically, men were the first to seek treatment for the use of heroin, but in recent times, women have taken up the place.
The progression of substance use disorder varies. Women have a shorter span of using substances like opioids, cocaine, alcohol, or marijuana. Still, they mainly go into treatment for substance use disorders with more intense medical, psychological, behavioral, and social problems.
These problems result from the tendency of women to show quicker progression right from their first substance use to reaching the dependence stage. Smoking is another vice affecting more women than men. Some environmental factors such as sexual or emotional abuse make women go into smoking for a variety of scopes, including to reduce weight. A good amount of weight may be regained after quitting, but a particular lifestyle and diet considerably reduce the risk factor of gaining weight.
The Stigma on Male Mental Health
Statistically, men have four times the likelihood of committing suicide than women, and they die more often from drug abuse or alcoholism resulting from different psychological trauma. This is a multipurpose fight for the community, as the stigma on admitting to being abused is still very strong. Also, men tend to slip into dangerous and self-destructive behaviors than strive for professional help on mental health. This happens because men have the perception that to have a mental health issue is to have a stigma on their masculinity and thus prefer to delay or avoid getting treatment.
Stigma, discrimination, and prejudice are unfortunate effects that people with mental illness experience. They often come from fear or lack of understanding since men are naturally seen as the breadwinners, strong, and privileged, and thus mental illnesses would make them come off unmanly or weak. In the long run, these toxic effects create spaces where people become afraid to speak up about their health or accept their diagnoses.
What can be done to mitigate the effects of the barriers created by stigma on male mental health or change the societal attitudes about mental health?
The challenges are many, but progress can be achieved by educating more people about the nature, causes, and impact of mental health, therefore reshaping the “manhood” perception and providing better training to professionals, thus enriching the pool of mental health providers.
When this is done, we may have more people seeking treatment and ultimately manage their symptoms from inception so they can live better lives.
Shamed into Relapse
Men are often shamed into relapse due to some emotional stress they are going through. Men undergo many struggles like everyone, but since they are the breadwinner and most times sole earners for the family’s sustenance, they prefer only to detox to quickly return to work and earn more money for the family’s survival. Detoxification is only a stage in the treatment for substance abuse, but they see it as a quick fix, and more often than most, it creates an environment that may lead to relapse.
One way to eliminate this trigger is to evaluate the amount of stress you are experiencing. This may not eliminate everything and everyone contributing to the trauma, but it can help avoid or find alternatives to them.
Why is Rehab the Necessary Second Step to Detox?
Detoxification and rehab are two types of treatment that are important in a person’s recovery from substance addiction. Detoxification is the first step in the recovery process, but recovery is usually a life-long journey. Detox is needed to get the process going, while drug rehab is the second step that sets the stage for a life of success and sobriety. Rehabilitation is the second step because it focuses on restoring people’s health through therapy or treatment.
Rehab encompasses the therapy to heal from physical and mental detriments that may occur during substance addiction. When all these substances are expelled from the body, the process of rehab may now follow.
A person tends to become more stable without the alcohol or drugs he’s dependent on, allowing the effects of treatments to manifest without hindrance. From that, the mental and emotional work of rehab may begin.
Men’s Residential Programs
Drug treatment centers offer different programs and amenities. Men’s residential treatment programs or inpatient treatment are provided around the clock for men dealing with substance abuse. The programs are highly structured and provide treatment forms, amenities, supervision, and 24/7 care. The programs make it easier for men to recover without distraction.
You may not know about men’s rehab because “it shouldn’t exist”. However, men are equally emotional beings, and getting help is a big decision for them. That is why it is easier to choose male-only rehab programs where you get to work and live with men like yourself during treatment. These programs provide the right atmosphere to learn, grow, and open up without worrying about the stigma of seeking help.
In these programs, there is no feeling of being judged based on what you say or how you say it; communication is most open. One won’t feel better than to live with people experiencing almost the same as you are, and you can always help each other out towards the ultimate goal; total recovery.