New Studies Support the Need for Gender-Specific Treatment Programs

Categories: Alcohol, Research, Substance Use, Treatment, Women's Issues

A recent article from the Scientific American discusses some very good reasons for gender-specific substance abuse treatment programs. The article talks about studies that have been conducted and illustrate the differences between men and women when it comes to alcohol, its effects and treatment. Among the findings that various studies have revealed:

  • The difference in the ratio of alcohol dependent men to women has dropped to about 2.5 men for every alcohol dependent woman
  • Alcohol abuse causes neurological damage more quickly in women than men
  • Women get drunk on fewer drinks than men, due to a deficit in the enzyme in the stomach lining that breaks down alcohol
  • Women develop cirrhosis of the liver more rapidly than men
  • Women with addictions are more likely to suffer from associated mental health conditions
  • Women share more readily in women-only therapy groups and bond better with other group members
  • It takes longer for women to enter treatment for alcohol problems than for men

Crossroads has been focused on women’s treatment since 1974 and now offers men’s outpatient substance abuse and mental health treatment. We continue to use a gender-specific treatment model to address the unique needs that men and women have. This blog has talked about most all of the above bullet points at some point.

Emotional, physical or sexual trauma is also more likely with women, along with the responsibilities for child-care. So, both sociocultural and biochemistry factors come in to play with women. While the article notes that not all forms of treatment need to be all-female, it is particularly helpful for pregnant women and those that have been abused or have eating disorders. From what we’ve seen at Crossroads, many women who need treatment fall into these categories.

It is encouraging to see that more research is being conducted and more studies are recommending gender-focused treatment models.

Source: Scientific American

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

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