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Co-Ed or Single-Gender Drug Rehab: Deciding Which is Right for Your Loved One

co-ed drug treatment in connecticut

There are many factors to consider when it comes time to choose a drug treatment program. You must decide whether your loved one needs an inpatient or outpatient rehab facility, and how long they may need to stay in treatment. You will also need to decide whether to pursue a co-ed drug rehab or a gender-specific treatment program.

What is a Co-Ed Rehab Program?

Co-ed drug rehab means that all genders are welcome into the treatment program. In the case of inpatient or residential treatment, everyone lives in the same facility and has access to the same resources and activities. In co-ed drug rehab, you will find both men and women in group therapy sessions and support groups. Your loved one will be surrounded by peers of all genders, as well as male and female staff and clinicians.

What is Gender-Specific Treatment?

Gender-specific treatment programs offer separate facilities, residences, and services for each of the genders. On one hand, this separates men and women from distractions and outside pressures from the opposite gender, allowing them to focus on their healing entirely. But this separation is just one component of a single-gender setting. Gender-specific rehab also ensures that the treatment services and overall experiences of clients are fully tailored to their needs as men or women. In other words, it is also gender-informed treatment.

The fact is, men and women have very different needs when it comes to drug abuse. They use drugs for different reasons. They experience different physiological effects. They respond to therapies differently. And, as a result, they have distinct needs in rehab and recovery. Gender-specific treatment accommodates for these differences by offering distinct treatment facilities and residences.

In a men’s only rehab program, for example, men live in shared residences with other men in recovery. Their group therapy sessions only include other men, who are walking in very similar shoes. They discuss topics related to the male experience, such as societal expectations and pressures on men today. Any activities, counseling, and treatment modalities are fully tailored to men, to ensure they are engaged and comfortable in treatment. 

The same can be said for women. In a women’s only rehab program, women are surrounded by other women walking in similar shoes. They can enter their 12-step meetings knowing that only women will be there, and feel comfortable sharing their stories. Their discussions may cover topics such as family, children, domestic violence, abuse—topics that are often tied to women’s experiences with drugs. The treatment services rendered in a gender-specific setting will also be completely customized to the female needs and delivered by clinicians who specialize in women’s drug abuse and addiction.

In a co-ed rehab environment, the topics covered in group therapy usually apply to both males and females. They may not touch on sensitive subjects such as sexual abuse, as they may cause unease amongst a co-gender group. This is something to keep in mind when considering a co-ed rehab program for your loved one. Overcoming burdens of trauma, violence, and mental health disorders is a critical step to overcoming addiction, so it is important these topics are addressed.

So, Which is Right for My Loved One?

When debating between a co-ed or gender-specific treatment program, it is important to think about your loved one’s comfort level first and foremost. They must feel comfortable in their treatment environment in order to find success. While in recovery, you need to commit to treatment every step of the way. You need to talk about difficult subjects. You need to open up your heart and your mind and share your experiences. You need to build friendships with others in recovery, to support you in your journey. Ask yourself: will a co-ed rehab facility give this comfort to my loved one?

Not everyone is comfortable with a co-ed rehab environment. It can create a pressure on men or women to act a certain way. It may cause them to hold back in group therapy sessions. It may prevent them from engaging in recreational activities, or distract them from the real goal: recovery. However, co-ed rehab programs can be right for those who do not identify with a certain gender, or who wish to be surrounded by all types of people in their recovery community.

Because of the different experiences each gender has with substance addiction, Turnbridge believes in a gender-specific and gender-informed treatment environment. Here, men and women can feel comfortable in their surroundings and peers. They have access to counselors and clinicians who specialize in gender-specific treatment methods. They can participate in activities, such as team sports or yoga classes, with other men and women in recovery. Most of all, they are able to address core issues—like why they started using drugs—in separate places, without feeling pressured or judged by the opposite sex. This allows them to focus on their own goals, their own road to recovery, and their own healing and identity, while receiving gender-informed treatment from specialists in the field.  

Turnbridge offers gender-informed drug treatment programs for young men and women battling substance addiction. To learn about our approach or how to get your loved one started, please call 877-581-1793 today.