For most of the history, gender-responsive treatment (or gender-specific treatment) did not exist in most substance abuse programs. Treatment was designed for a predominantly male patient population, as the majority of addicts were men. When the problem of women’s substance abuse began to emerge, treatment proceeded on the assumption that established practices would be equally applicable to and effective for women. In the recent years, drug and alcohol abuse treatment providers have began to recognize the gender differences in addiction and the factors that lead to substance abuse by each gender, addressing the way that approaches to treatment need to change to meet the needs of women and men. Treatment has therefore begun to move from being “one size fits all” to being gender-responsive and individualized.
Gender-Responsive Treatment at Lakeview Health
The causes of addiction tend to be different for men and women. Because of this, different methods of treatment are appropriate to each. The majority of women who enter treatment for substance use disorders report significant traumatic events in their past, including sexual abuse and domestic violence. Addiction in men, on the other hand, is often tied up with societal definitions of masculinity and the drive to succeed.
Our men’s and women’s programs are tailored to address addiction in a way that takes gender differences into account.