If you were to look at the history of substance abuse treatment programs, you would see a pattern of programs that were predominantly tailored to fit the needs of men. Over the last two decades, there has been research and development of practices that better suit the needs of women specifically. While both men and women suffer from substance abuse, the underlying factors that lead to the drug or alcohol abuse by each gender vary, and therefore the treatment approach should be customized to fit each gender’s needs.
Recently, Lakeview Health has moved to a gender-responsive program to better serve our patients in the aforementioned way to ensure that we are providing the best care to our male and female population. We have separate facilities for both the men and women with programs that are entirely gender separate and designed with different approaches to address addiction in specific ways for each gender.
The Star of Lakeview Health, our men’s program allows our male patients to be more open in group therapy, as research has shown that men have a tendency to talk more about their feelings when they’re not in the presence of their female peers. The men in this program are able to focus exclusively on their recovery without the distraction of women, allowing them to be more comfortable about being open and honest and communicating with their therapist.
Our women’s program, The Rose of Lakeview Health, is really centered on addressing the experience of trauma and its underlying connection to substance abuse with women. We really want to focus on helping our female patients heal from past trauma (such as being abused as a child, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and domestic violence) and the best way to do that is addressing the fundamental component that contributed to their substance abuse. Studies have shown that women are more likely to be open about their trauma when not in the presence of men and this has led to significantly less substance use post-treatment.
Our Clinical Director, Amanda Jack, explains that the goal of moving to a gender-responsive treatment program is to create atmospheres that are inviting and soothing to each gender and to provide programming experiences that are designed to be engaging. “There is never a feeling of institution in either facility due to the care that was taken to create these spaces.”
There are certainly other options for people as far as substance abuse treatment is concerned, but choosing a gender-responsive program has many benefits and an environment that is conducive to healing and recovering for both men and women.
By: Alexis Franzi, Social Media and Content Specialist at Lakeview Health