Men are more likely than women to develop alcoholism and addiction. Men also tend to have different reasons for using substances than women do, so addiction develops differently in comparison. These factors, as well as the tendency for women to seek help more quickly, affect the kind of treatment men will need for lasting recovery.
Jaywalker Lodge works exclusively with men for all these reasons and more. We believe that the largest benefit of male-only recovery treatment is that treatment is directed towards resolving issues that only affect men. Female-only treatment centers experience the same advantage, as these facilities focus on issues that only affect women.
Many men cannot relate to many problems that women tend to face, and vice versa. A treatment environment where one is surrounded by the same gender-specific identity helps individuals connect more strongly with their peers, relate to common experiences, and face less judgment than in co-ed programs. Let’s take a look at some common issues that men are likely to face during their treatment experience.
There are many damaging stereotypes and stigmas associated with men who need help. For example, men are more expected to keep it together for their families, especially if they are the breadwinner or primary provider for them. Men who show emotion may be considered weak by others or mocked for their sensitivity. Growing up in a society where these stigmas are still present, it’s easy to understand why men are more hesitant to seek support when they are suffering.
Compared to men, many people believe that women are more emotionally wired to seek support or relationships with others. At Jaywalker Lodge, we believe that all humans desire and deserve connection, although men typically experience greater struggle with relationships and asking for help. In a male-only setting, men feel more empowered to ask for guidance and support from their peers. We encourage this through group therapy, mentorship, and other practices. Isolation is a common cause of the development of addiction, so we acknowledge the importance of connection when addressing such issues.
Some men may resort to using drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism to avoid connection, because connection can be intimidating or challenging to them. But connection does not have to be as difficult as it may seem or may have been for you in the past. Jaywalker Lodge aims to deal with male-dominated issues such as the aversion to seeking support and guidance by creating a caring environment where everyone benefits. There is no pressure to make connections — instead, connections are made effortlessly through relating to one another’s experiences.
Lack of Engagement With Treatment
In addition to being less likely to seek help, men are also less likely to engage in treatment. This builds off the stereotype of men being “weak” when they express the need for help. Men may be less willing to express or deal with trauma, although we all experience trauma at some point in our lives.
Jaywalker Lodge focuses on using adventure therapy and other forms of directed treatment so that men in recovery do not view treatment solely as counseling or talking through problems. Adventure therapy specifically teaches men to express their emotions in a physically healthy way by engaging in thrilling group activities, using the lessons learned during these activities and applying them to real-life situations. If the treatment program is created to engage individuals, then the treatment experience should motivate participation and self-reflection. We understand that men have different experiences and perspectives with treatment and aim to change the recovery stereotype into a more meaningful and exciting experience.
Another male-dominated issue addressed in recovery is how men tend to experience greater issues with anger management, especially during active addiction. Outward anger or aggression is a far more common response to stress, threat, hurt, or need for men compared to women. The recovery treatment experience at male-only facilities is tailored towards teaching anger management resolution so that when difficult experiences surface in the future, our men are more equipped with effective responses and behaviors that they can use. In a gender-specific environment, men will typically feel more comfortable confiding in their peers about past experiences with outward anger or aggression. It’s a disappointing part of our story that many of us struggle to share, although we have to learn to let go of our past mistakes in order to make room for a newer and better version of ourselves.
Differences in Addiction Development
Genetic makeup, trauma, co-occurring mental health diagnoses, environmental influences, and many other factors can cause an individual to be more susceptible to developing an addiction to substances. Male-specific susceptibility to addiction may include casual substance use to help cope with isolation or lack of connection, the pressure to conform to societal expectations, and physically rigorous family and job roles. Identifying and embracing these gender differences are evidence-based reasons to consider gender-specific recovery treatment.
Jaywalker Lodge is intimately aware of men’s issues with addiction and recovery. We focus our treatment program on these male-dominated issues so the men who come here can feel more comfortable and relate to their peers in their treatment environment. At Jaywalker Lodge, we believe that everyone deserves mental clarity and peace from their addiction, no matter what your past may look like. If you’re willing to do the work, we would love to help you find lasting recovery. Gender-specific treatment has so many benefits, especially since males and females tend to experience different circumstances with their addiction. Most of us here at Jaywalker Lodge are alcoholics or addicts ourselves. We’ve been in your shoes, and we know that you can achieve success and sobriety with the help and guidance of your male peers. Have faith that you will recover from your addiction, because we already have faith in you. Call us now at (866) 529-9255.
As Chief Executive Officer Bill provides leadership and manage all day-to-day operations of Jaywalker Lodge, an extended care residential addiction treatment program for adult men.