Why Choose a Gender-Specific Sober Living?
In early recovery, cravings for drugs and alcohol are at their peak, and can trip up even the most motivated individual. When addicted people are early in their recovery, it is oftentimes helpful for them to steer clear from the opposite sex for a period of time in order to be able to focus on their recovery and addictions without distractions. The lessons that individuals learn in recovery can be varying and these can be difficult to conquer while involved in relationships with the opposite sex. Because of this, finding a gender-specific sober living is a good option. All female or all male sober living homes can provide the care and support needed during the critical early stages of the recovery process and they can do so in a way that is supportive to the specific needs of their gender which promotes stable healing.
Sober livings place people struggling with alcoholism and addictions into communities of their peers who have similar experiences and struggles. The group functions similar to a family and share their stores and give each other support that is founded on their personal experience. Research shows that men and women have some different experiences and struggles that they face and walk through as the work through their addictions and so they can take different paths in the healing process.
A report shows some of the differences in addictions for men and women:
- Tend to use drugs more often than women.
- Tend to use drugs in order to socialize.
- Weight control is less of a factor in motivation of use.
- Tend to experience more financial losses as a result of their addiction.
- Muscle mass is effected more by addiction.
- Tend to develop addiction quicker than men.
- Tend to use drugsin order to manage mood.
- Weight control is a common factor in motivation of use.
- Tend to experience more pain and suffering from the consequences of their addiction.
- Menstrual cycles can be effected by addicton.
In a co-ed sober living home, these differences can come out in a variety of negative ways. It can make relating to one another more difficult and can lead to mistrust and an inability for house members to connect at the levels they could otherwise if they were in a gender-specific home.
One study suggested that women tend to struggle more recovering from the financial losses they suffered as their addictions progressed compared to men. Because of this, women can end up with problems that can be difficult to solve without help with financial planning, job placement, education, and stable housing. Sober living homes for women can often provide some meetings and community programs that can help their residents to overcome these specific struggles.
Of course, men also encounter these problems, but men tend to have a harder time with the concept of friendship and human connection that is not based around drugs and alcohol. Men tend to use substances as a way to connect to those around them, so a male sober living home will generally focus more on forming intimacy and trust between residents.
This is not all to say that there are vast differences between recovery from drugs and alcohol for men and women. Most of the recovery process will be the same regardless of gender. Counseling, group meetings, and work are the foundation of healing from substance abuse. But having the subtle changes in focus on the topics discussed above in a sober living home, can greatly increase an individual’s chances of maintaining long term recovery from addiction.
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