It’s the 21st century. Everybody has a smart phone glued to their hands and their eyes stuck to that. We fight and terrorize each other, shooting first and often asking questions later. There’s an opioid epidemic rampaging about the United States of America, and half the country glorifies it through selective media outlets while the other half weeps for loved lives lost. To put it bluntly, we live in a world where we are blinded by the thrill of sex, drugs, and rock n roll only to be distracted from the beauty of predictability, morality, and kindness.
That’s just the unfortunate normality of the world, but then alcoholism fits in there somewhere. Addicts/alcoholics can and will abuse anything that services the diluted reality we crave. We create a non sustainable lifestyle that gets dragged through the dirt only to ask for more. In doing so, we tarnish all that’s good in life and give reason to the phrase “all good things must pass” because we either ruin them or chase them away. This is the reality of the disease. It’s sad, but the truth, and the sad truth is often that the truth is sad.
Yet, this reality is not set in stone. Though menacing the disease may be, it’s flow does not have to own you. It may be permanent, but it’s permanence is entirely up to its host. We, and only we, decide how thorough our recovery ends up being. So if we’re going to do it at all, might as well do it the right way. This means starting your sobriety off proper. For many this means a treatment program like detoxification and/or treatment. For just as many it should also mean attending a gender specific treatment program. Our reasons increase at infinitum.
Distraction, Distraction, Distraction
Yes yes, be aware when distractions come your way. You’ll know it’s a distraction when you stop doing what you’re supposed to be doing and find your mind meandering elsewhere. In early sobriety, it is imperative to not wander; for the focus to remain on self. We must keep in mind that alcoholism is a disease through and through. Those of us with it never lose it; it’s for life. That being said, part of early sobriety is all about eliminating interruptions so that we can focus.
One such distraction often times is the other sex, which is why a gender specific treatment program is important. Yet even in spite of that, the specifics for those reasons carry more weight than you may imagine. It’s not just about keeping people from sleeping with each other, even though that is vital since many don’t make the best decisions in early sobriety. Also an unwanted pregnancy in early sobriety is not a good way to start off. No, there’s more to it than that. Some of the primary reasons include:
- Men and Women have different responses to different substances
- Men and Women face different obstacles while in treatment
- Men and Women experience dual diagnosis differently
- Men and Women typically relate to the same sex
- Men and Women feel more comfortable in front of the same sex
Often times in recovery and addiction/alcoholism settings, many issues can be personal in regards to the anatomy of the body for males and females. Sometimes it’s just in regards to the brain chemistry difference between men and women. After all, men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. Being understood in early sobriety feels good, especially to the same sex peers that relate the most.
The Physics of Specifics
These reasons for a gender specific treatment plan are based off of men and women’s responses to alcoholism and their treatment of such differentiating on a social, physical, and psychological level. For one, there are still stereotypes and prejudices out there in regards to men and women using substances the same way, therefore they process substances differently as well as the help they may receive for such. Two, the male and female bodies are just simply biologically different. Lastly, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) confirms that women are twice as likely as men to suffer from co-existing mood disorders such as depression, which in turn can affect the treatment outcome.
It’s Not Forever
It’s not to say that men and women can’t help each other in recovery down the road, but in regards to early sobriety, the gender specific treatment program is what helps us actually travel down that road. Once the decision to drop the substances and distractions is there, recovery in a gender specific treatment program can actually begin. Keeping in mind that in early recovery we are in fragile states of being.
There’s a hole inside for many that we just wanted filled, even if it’s not intimately. Our emotions are temperamental and all over the place at times. Any bit of validation or internal substantiation from the opposite gender can derail us from the real matters at hand. This goes for men and women equally. At the end of the day it all boils down to how badly somebody wants to get clean. Recovery is a smooth sailing process if done right from the get go.