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Men's Addiction Treatment: The Star of Lakeview

Our men’s addiction treatment program provides an integrative approach to help heal the mind, body, and spirit. Our gender responsive, integrative treatment model goes beyond the fundamentals of abstinence and 12-step meetings to address seven additional core aspects of recovery:

To learn more about these foundational tenets of our approach to treatment, the Integrative Health page has a detailed description of our principles and how they are applied every day at Lakeview Health.

Why Men’s Only Addiction Treatment?

The simple answer is this: when men participate in gender-specific treatment programs, they tend to stay in treatment longer. It’s a well-documented fact the longer a patient stays in treatment, the less likely they are to relapse. Therefore, gender-specific programs can reduce relapse rates and increase the chance of lifelong, sustained sobriety. But that’s true for both men and women – so what is it about gender-specific treatment that causes men to stay in treatment longer? When men participate in men-only addiction treatment they drop the macho act, admit they need help, own their fears, and start sharing their experience with one another.

Benefits of Men’s Only Addiction Treatment

Our clinical team meets regularly to discuss their experiences working with our patients. Therapists in our men’s program observe that when women aren’t present, men:

  • Use humor less often as a deflection tactic
  • Increase displays of vulnerability
  • Express a broader range of emotion
  • Develop stronger bonds of camaraderie
  • Take on caretaker roles for one another
  • Support one another more readily
  • Tend to be less competitive

Taken as a whole, these factors lead to a more open, honest, and reflective treatment experience for men. They open up to one another, share things they never thought they would say out loud to anyone, and delve deep into issues they never thought applied to them. There’s also the fact that men’s only treatment groups remove the potential romantic distractions presented by members of the opposite sex.

Gender Differences in Substance Use and Addiction Treatment

Research indicates significant differences in the rates and types of drugs men use. For instance, statistics show men are more likely to:

  • Use drugs in general
  • Develop severe marijuana use disorders
  • Use heroin intravenously
  • Abuse alcohol
  • Engage in binge drinking

Men also seek and/or avoid treatment for different reasons than women. Men are more likely to:

  • Deny they have a problem and believe they can overcome addiction without any help
  • Believe seeking treatment is a sign of weakness
  • Believe their masculinity is measured by how much they can drink
  • Feel they can get along just fine while maintaining their addiction
  • Avoid treatment out of fear of damaging their career or failing their families financially
  • Seek treatment due to external factors, such as legal issues, work-related consequences, or interventions

These factors – almost all of which are enmeshed with issues of masculine identity – cause men to seek treatment later in the course of their addiction, which contributes to the progression of the disease and exposes them to increased physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences.

Men, Trauma, and Co-Occurring Disorders

Men come to treatment with histories of trauma and often discover co-occurring mental health disorders once they detox and experience a sustained period of sobriety. On average, men present fewer incidents of trauma and receive dual-diagnoses less often than women. Trauma common to men in treatment is typically rooted in emotional neglect, physical abuse, violence, and experiencing grief or loss early in life. Co-occurring disorders in men are most often ADHD and depression, but it’s not unusual to uncover other mental health disorders leading to a dual diagnosis.

Men’s Treatment: Communication and Vulnerability

The two unifying themes running through all aspects of men’s addiction treatment are communication and vulnerability. When women are present, almost all men default to behavioral norms dictating men must be strong, stoic, and immune to pain – especially mental, emotional, or psychological pain. Virtually every man carries the schoolyard around in the back of his mind: don’t show weakness, impress the girls, and act cool at all costs. Our therapists observe that over time, in men’s only groups, this early training falls away and men show a new kind of bravery. This is often the key unlocking the door to recovery and allows men to walk through that door into a new world where sobriety is possible.

Men’s Residential Addiction Treatment

The Star of Lakeview Health men’s residential treatment program provides a place for males to begin recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Every part of the program is designed to meet the needs of men in recovery.

Gender-Responsive Treatment

The factors contributing to both addiction and recovery are different for men and women. Men’s addiction often revolves around societal definitions of masculinity and the expectations our culture places on men. Therefore, it is critical drug and alcohol treatment programs for men take their particular needs into account.

Gender-separate treatment is beneficial for men. Group therapy can focus on specifically male issues, and experts suggest that the absence of women may allow men to be more open about their experiences and feelings. It also frees them from the possible distractions of romantic and physical attraction that can be experienced by men as the drugs and alcohol leave their systems and long-repressed feelings are allowed to surface.

Redefining Typical Male Experiences

Many aspects of men’s social lives involve the use of substances, particularly alcohol. Sporting events, guys’ night out, and other men-only events can center on drinking – part of men’s recovery must focus on redefining these experiences. Men with substance use disorders need to learn how to participate in these activities without the use of drugs and alcohol.

An example of Lakeview’s approach to redefining male experiences is the dining facilities of the Star program. The men’s dining room resembles a sports bar, with big-screen TVs and dark wood decor. Because such an environment would normally be a trigger for substance use, it is important men learn to enjoy such spaces without feeling the need to drink. In our dining room, they discover it is possible to watch and enjoy a football game without consuming alcohol.

Facilities

Our facilities also play a role in gender-responsive treatment. The newly remodeled men’s treatment program is designed so the space itself plays an active role in the recovery process. The fact that the Star of Lakeview men’s program and the Rose of Lakeview women’s program are completely separate allows each program to be gender exclusive.

The Elements of Residential Recovery

Mornings at Lakeview are usually spent in various group sessions. In the afternoon, you have access to our wellness center and fitness programs with certified personal trainers. After dinner, we provide 12-Step meetings often featuring guest speakers sharing their story and providing a positive influence from someone who was once in their shoes.

Group Sessions

Group sessions are where people in recovery begin to address the root causes of their addiction. You work with licensed therapists to address past trauma, emotional issues, and personality disorders. Psychotherapy and psychoeducation groups allow men to share thoughts and feelings, support their peers, and learn new skills and tools to cope with life’s challenges in healthier ways.

Health and Wellness

Attending to your health and wellness through physical activity contributes to recovery. A healthy body provides greater energy and concentration, stabilizes emotional states, and can reduce cravings for substances. Instead of being in a place to bulk-up, our state-of-the-art gym focuses on getting men in shape as an aspect of their recovery.

Various programs help patients focus on their overall wellness. Time spent in the gym introduces you to both strength training and cardio workouts, with enough variety in the sessions that everyone will find something he enjoys. Men also attend yoga sessions where they learn to achieve physical and spiritual balance.

12-Step Programs

Twelve-Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are available at Lakeview Health to provide encouragement, support, and fellowship to those in recovery. We also offer Celebrate Recovery meetings focusing on an intentionally Christian approach to the 12-Step tradition.

Educational Programs

Educational opportunities focus on issues related to recovery. Lectures on nutrition, fitness, aftercare, and overall wellness complement the skills learned in other aspects of the program.

Expressive Therapies

Expressive therapies provide you with ways to begin to reconnect with emotions suppressed by drug and alcohol use.

Music Therapy

Music therapy gives patients the opportunity to be introspective about lyrics, tempo, and beat. This, in turn, gives them permission to explore and become more comfortable with feelings.

Recreational Therapy

Working with a trained recreational therapist, the Star of Lakeview patients actively engage in play therapy— games, activities, and recreational outings —where you have a chance to explore unsettled issues and learn healthy ways to relax and engage with others in a safe, non-threatening space.

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