How Men and Women Process Drug Treatment Differently

Every journey in recovery is unique. Some people will require inpatient (residential) treatment programs, while others need an intensive outpatient program, as they’re able to continue with daily activities. Some people will relapse while others won’t, and some need more support than others.

While the individual journey is different for everyone, studies show that gender is a contributing factor in both how people seek treatment and the results of that treatment. Learn more in today’s guide, and contact Rosecrance to seek help today.

How Drug Use Affects Men and Women Differently

To understand how men and women process treatment differently, it helps to know how they process drug use differently. Men are more likely to abuse drugs than women, and have higher rates of death from drug use. Women, however, are more likely to relapse (NIH).

Men who enter drug treatment programs have often been using drugs for longer than women who enter the same programs. However, women are more likely to face obstacles to getting or continuing treatment.

Barriers for Women in Accessing Drug Treatment Programs

According to a study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, women are more likely to seek help for drug use in a primary care or mental health setting—which often leads to poorer treatment outcomes.

While some of this has to do with a lack of treatment options and information from referrers, it’s also because women face socioeconomic barriers to accessing treatment. Women tend to face more economic barriers. They are also more likely to be the primary caregivers for their families, which can inhibit them from seeking treatment.

Barriers for Women in Continuing Drug Treatment Programs

Beyond the limitations for women accessing drug treatment programs, women may be less likely than men to complete a treatment program due to familial obligations. They may fear repercussions for their families if authorities discover they’re in treatment.

Women also tend to face more mental health issues than men when entering a program, which means dual-diagnosis treatment programs are even more important for their recovery (NIH).

There Is Hope for Women and Men Struggling with Drug Use

As we begin to understand more about how men and women process and access drug treatment differently, we learn just how important it is to address these gender-specific issues. Improving treatment outcomes and treatment access requires an understanding of these issues so women and men can get the help they need.

If you’re struggling with drug or alcohol use, there is hope. Call the addiction treatment team at Rosecrance at (844) 711-5106 for hope for a lasting recovery. We offer residential and outpatient treatment options, working with women, men, and families to find the treatment option that’s best for any individual.