Should Sober Living Be Gender-Segregated
A recovery journey starts with a safe home base. If you or a loved one is looking for sober living in Delray Beach, one of the first questions to consider is what type of environment will best support your goal to live a full life, free from addiction.
There are a number of reasons to consider gender-specific sober living as a life-changing first step. There are significant gender differences in substance use disorders, in the ways men and women seek help, their reasons for doing so, the social stigma they face, the issues behind their addiction, and—as a result—what treatment methods will be most effective.
Let’s explore the reasons:
Men and Women Recover Differently
While every person’s recovery journey may be different, and not all of these generalities apply to every member of a specific gender, recent research suggests that men abuse different drugs, and for different reasons, than women. These differences require gender-specific treatment programs.
What’s the difference?
- Men are more likely to experiment with drugs than women, usually identifying the purpose of becoming intoxicated as the primary reason they began using. Women usually identified social and psychological reasons as a primary cause.
- Men’s issues in substance abuse treatment are more likely to include physical or social problems. There are biological responses which cause men to experience some substances differently than women.1
- Research shows that men find it easier to discuss emotions or potential weaknesses in the company of other men.2 Our society reinforces the idea that men should be stoic, independent, and invulnerable, but men’s addiction treatment involves reaching past these rigid expectations.
- Men may experience shame resulting from a belief that they have not lived up to the group’s expectation of their masculinity. Having a female audience when facing social or cultural stigmas may increase these feelings of shame.2
- Men who abuse substances are more likely than women to experience compulsive sexual urges and sexual dependency. Recovering in surroundings which will not trigger these responses can prevent relapse—especially for those who have linked drug use and sexual experiences in the past.2
- Women will often need to deal with topics that they might not discuss in the presence of men, including domestic violence, sexual assault, eating disorders, and unhealthy relationships. Women may also fear societal judgments specific to mothers in recovery.
Separation Supports Recovery
Physical separation allows both men and women to focus on their recovery and re-learn how to build stable support systems and trusting relationships. Without the substitution and avoidance elements of romance and physical attraction it becomes easier to zero in on the root causes of addiction.
Gender-specific treatment for substance abuse fosters and protects progress being made and preserves relationships that already exist. It provides both men and women the very different ideal surroundings and methodologies they need for successful treatment.
Men and women also process experiences differently. A gender-separated program can take advantage of known differences in gender learning styles, social bonding, and communication techniques. (We will discuss the environment that best supports women’s recovery in greater detail in another article, focusing on drug abuse and women’s health.)
What Makes Separate Transitional Living So Successful?
- Removing distractions and providing focus. It is instinctual, and biochemically compelling, to fill a perceived emptiness with a romantic relationship.1 Falling in love with a recovering drug addict at this vulnerable point rarely solves anything. Avoiding this distraction allows greater focus and more rapid progress on the path to sobriety.
- Building mental and emotional stability. Gender separation protects this important time needed for recovery and avoids romantic turmoil which may result in relapse.1 Many people have become substance dependent because they did not have emotional and mental stability role-modeled or practiced around them. Self-awareness, acceptance, and accountability should be the foundation in place before creating new relationships.
- Preserving existing relationships and support systems. When men are not in relationships, they are less likely to complete treatment. When they have a partner or family member who supports their desire to change, the outcome improves.2 In a male-only environment there is little chance of putting existing relationships at risk, and men can focus on building relationship skills such as marital communication and parenting.
- Supporting different motivations. Men are more likely to come to treatment as a consequence or requirement from some outside source or authority, which may cause resentment or anger issues that need to be addressed and overcome.2 Women, who are more likely to enter a recovery program as a result of trauma or depression, may withdraw from the perceived threat of anger.
- Providing a safe place to heal. Sober housing programs are responsible to protect and support the health and wellbeing of their residents, and gender-specific housing ensures that the issues of one group do not create an unsafe environment for the other.2
Recovery Is Within Reach
Meaningful change is highly successful in safe environments tailored to support sobriety. Some of the best gender-specific residences for men’s sober living in Delray Beach are part of RECO Institute. Facilitating positive change, connections with peers, and personal accountability, these sober lifestyle residences uphold the highest standards in healing.
RECO’s recovery residences are an artful, elegant, and comfortable first step in the recovery journey. Together with the outpatient RECO Intensive recovery program, these empathetic and effective programs allow residents a focused opportunity to change their lives for the better.
Looking for a Men’s Sober Living Residence?
- The Tapper. Healing in nature is the theme here, paying homage to David Tapper. This comfortable refuge includes a large backyard, game room, and private outdoor patios, offering an idyllic oasis near shops and eateries.
- The Siebold. Beautifully decorated and lavishly comfortable, this single-family home was named for Harry Siebold. This was the original RECO Intensive residential facility and offers an active environment with nearby stores and restaurants in the heart of Delray.
- The Van Epps. With a chef-inspired kitchen and 30-foot ceilings, the Van Epps features a swimming pool and tranquil atmosphere. An oasis of transformation, this peaceful getaway memorializes Cole Van Epps.
- Women’s sober living residence options include The Hart and The Parker, and will be featured in more detail in an upcoming piece focused on women’s sober living in Delray Beach.
All residences have spacious semi-private bedrooms and amenities such as wi-fi, satellite cable, flat screen TVs, laundry, kitchen, and 24-hour staff onsite. Residents have full access through RECO Intensive to medical care, licensed therapists, nutritionists, and case managers.
Eliminating All Obstacles
Gender-specific transitional housing offers solutions to any obstacles that may be standing in the way of your recovery. Taking the first step of researching your choice can be the catalyst to meaningful change in your life, so explore the virtual tours and reach out to learn more now.
These collaborative, empathetic, proven approaches are designed to foster your independence and healing at every step of the way. RECO Institute is a trusted partner on the path to recovery, employing established best practices and the latest research while upholding the highest possible standards of care.
It’s time to start your individualized journey to a healthy life.