Gender makes a difference when looking at the physical effects of substance use and specific issues related to substance use disorders. – SAMHSA
Addiction research, the effects of substance abuse, and drug treatment approaches have long-been geared towards men. In fact, it wasn’t until the early 90s that research surrounding the impact of substance abuse in women had truly taken off. Unlike their male counterparts, women traditionally have been more covert in their struggles with drug abuse. Historically, women were more likely to be shamed or stigmatized for addiction, and as a result, many kept their issues under wraps.
We have taken great strides in recent decades, and extensive research regarding addiction in women is continuously unfolding. Today, we know more about the distinctive experiences of addicted men and women than ever before. Today, we know that men and women have different reasons for initiating substance abuse. We know that their bodies experience the effects of drugs differently. Most significantly, we know that each gender has separate vulnerabilities to addiction and relapse, and that as a result, they need to be treated as such.
Since our inception in 2003, our goal has been to offer separate, gender-specific treatment programs for young men and women struggling with addiction. Now, that goal has become a reality. Turnbridge, the pre-eminent drug treatment center for young men and women, now offers fully gender-specific and gender-informed programs for all adolescents and young adults seeking recovery.
What, exactly, does this mean for your son or daughter? How will a gender-specific treatment plan impact your child’s recovery? What will our programs at Turnbridge offer your teen?
Why Gender-Specific Treatment for Substance Abuse?
Men and women are just as likely as one another to become addicted to drugs or alcohol. Yet research has proven that in most cases, the genders use drugs differently, respond to drugs differently, and have their own, unique obstacles in completing a clinical drug treatment program.
For these very reasons, it has been proven that gender-specific environments can enhance the recovery process for both men and women alike. At Turnbridge, we believe the separation of genders gives our clients better opportunities to address core issues like why they started using drugs or how they feel when using drugs, as well as factors such as their home life, relationships, and any co-occurring disorders that may exist. Our gender-specific programs encourage young men and women to establish their own goals, their own road to recovery, and reclaim their own identities without outside pressures.
Gender-specific treatment for substance abuse allows individuals to lend more focus to themselves and their healing process. In these programs, there are no distractions or pressures caused by the opposite gender. Oftentimes, young men and women in recovery form romantic relationships to replace any “voids” experienced during treatment. At Turnbridge, we eliminate these distractions to create the safest, most supportive environment for each individual throughout the recovery process.
At a gender-specific, young adult drug rehab center, group therapies and support groups are also more tailored to the needs and comfort levels of males and females. For example, in our women’s program, an evidence-based, trauma-informed care model, we discuss matters such as abuse, relationships, and motherhood. In an all-female setting, young women are more likely to share personal, intimate information if surrounded by peers they can relate to—peers of their own age and gender. In co-ed addiction treatment or mixed gender settings, it is likely some men and women may not confront all of their issues in the presence of the opposite sex. And any issues left unaddressed can cause shame, guilt, and prevent a successful treatment outcome.
Another benefit of gender-specific treatment facilities is that their staff is specifically trained to work with men and/or women. In these facilities, there is an overarching institutional knowledge that can be extremely supportive for men and women in recovery. At Turnbridge, our experienced clinical team has received training and accreditation in both women’s and men’s addiction treatment.
At Turnbridge, we believe it is most important to create a safe and supportive environment for young men and women in recovery. We believe that an environment that nurtures the specific emotions and issues of each adolescent or young adult is an essential environment for recovery. To this end, Turnbridge’s programs are specifically designed to treat each young man and woman’s unique, multifaceted experience of addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. With a comprehensive approach to the addicted brain and body, a gender-informed curriculum, and emphasis on identity and development, we aim to address the needs of each client in one-to-one and group therapeutic settings. Turnbridge women’s and men’s care programs feature completely gender-separate residential locations, clinical visits, recreational activities, and gender-informed treatment methods.