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How Partial Hospitalization Programs in Massachusetts Address The Needs of Men

men in addiction treatment in MassachusettsAlthough both men and women struggle with addiction, the two genders have unique experiences with substance abuse and specific needs that need to be met during addiction treatment. Some men may benefit from a gender-specific program that is designed by men to meet the unique needs of men in recovery.

Here at Woburn Addiction Treatment, our partial hospitalization program is reserved for men who are seeking sobriety. We incorporate several evidence-based therapies and support groups into our program to address the needs of men in addiction treatment.

Understanding The Gender-Specific Needs of Men During Addiction Treatment

Men and women have different experiences with addiction and face unique challenges when it comes to recovery. For example, men are more likely than women to begin drinking and using drugs at a younger age.[1] Their addictions also progress slower than women, allowing more time for mistakes, hardships, and negative consequences as a result of substance abuse.

Because of societal gender norms, many men believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness. As a result, they may deny having a problem with drugs or alcohol or believe that they can overcome their addiction without professional help. This causes men to avoid seeking treatment. Unfortunately, these emotions can carry on into the recovery process. Men may feel scared to divulge their true feelings, shameful of things they have done in the past, or unmasculine for not being able to control their substance use.

When it comes to recovery, on the other hand, men are less likely to engage with and participate in self-help programs like Alcoholics Anonymous. With little follow-through after treatment, men could be susceptible to relapse simply because they aren’t disciplined enough to commit to their recovery program. Moreover, men are more likely to relapse after completing treatment than women.[1]

When the unique needs of men are considered during addiction treatment, therapists can better engage men in the treatment process and improve their overall treatment outcomes.

How Partial Hospitalization Programs Can Address The Needs of Men in Addiction Treatment

Many approaches used for men’s addiction treatment are similar to those used in mixed-gender programs. However, small changes are made to the environment to improve the overall treatment experience. For example, men’s rehab centers may have decorations and reading materials that are preferred by men. They may also have only male counselors, a popular practice known as gender-matching.[2]

When it comes to the clinical aspect of care, partial hospitalization programs in Massachusetts are sensitive to the motivations that bring men to treatment and the feelings associated with them. Since men are more likely to enter treatment via the criminal justice system, providers are aware that some men may be resentful towards staff. Others may have particular characteristics that make treatment challenging such as anger or avoidance.

During screening and treatment, partial care programs take many steps to address the needs of men in treatment. These include:[2]

  • Developing a trusting and non-judgemental rapport from the beginning with the patients
  • Being sensitive to male gender norms and the expectations of men in society as a whole
  • Helping men create a healthy view of “masculinity” that involves healthy ways of dealing with negative emotions
  • Addressing issues such as sexual accomplishment, physical domination, and competitive interactions
  • Treating men’s-specific issues such as impulsive behaviors, anger management, stress management, and more
  • Creating a safe space for men to disclose emotions like sadness and anxiety
  • Talking about the fears men share in regard to relationships, health, abandonment, career, and finances
  • Helping men develop healthy and constructive communication skills
  • Encouraging treatment engagement and 12-Step participation
  • Using motivational techniques to help men get enthusiastic about the recovery process

The Benefits of Men’s-Only Addiction Treatment

Although studies show that many patients do well in co-ed addiction treatment settings, some individuals may benefit more from a gender-specific rehab program.[1] This is especially true for men who have struggled with relapsing due to a romantic interest or for men who have trouble discussing certain topics in front of the opposite gender.

A few ways men can benefit from a gender-specific partial hospitalization program in Massachusetts include:[2]

  • Learning how to be vulnerable and express one’s emotions in a healthy way
  • Offering men a higher level of comfort and belonging in treatment
  • Having an opportunity to build meaningful relationships with men
  • Being able to discuss topics that may be difficult to discuss in front of women (sex, relationships, trauma, self-esteem, etc.)’
  • Having fewer distractions in the form of romantic relationships
  • Healing in a judgment-free zone
  • Gaining access to highly individualized and customizable treatment plans

Find a Men’s Addiction Treatment Program in Massachusetts Today

Here at Woburn Addiction Treatment, our partial hospitalization program in Massachusetts is dedicated to helping men who struggle with addiction live a healthy, self-directed life. We employ evidence-based therapy techniques to allow men to heal mentally, physically, and spiritually.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and think a men’s addiction treatment program is right for you, contact us today. We can help.

References:

  1. https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh291/55-62.htm
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK144290/

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