Gender Responsive Treatment

Gender-Responsive Treatment for Alcohol and Substance Use Disorders

 Gender-Responsive Treatment is simply a way of saying the following three things in one phrase:

  • Men and Women may develop addictions for reasons specific to their gender
  • Men and Women often enter treatment for reasons specific to their gender
  • Men and Women are likely to respond to addiction treatment in ways specific to their gender

There’s another important thing to know about gender-responsive treatment:

Men and Women who enter gender-specific alcohol and substance use treatment programs tend to stay in treatment longer and have better outcomes than those who don’t.

With these facts in mind – based on the latest research in addiction treatment – Lakeview Health offers separate, gender-specific, gender-responsive treatment facilities for men and women. The Star of Lakeview supports men seeking treatment for alcohol and substance use disorders, and The Rose of Lakeview supports women seeking treatment for alcohol and substance use disorders.

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Addiction Treatment for Men and Women: A Brief History

Organized efforts to help people struggling with alcohol and substance use disorders have been around longer than most people realize. Support groups, sobriety circles, and temperance movements first appeared in the U.S. around the 1750s. By the 1850s, one such organization – The Washington Society – claimed a membership of over half a million people. The New York State Inebriate Society, the nation’s first dedicated substance use treatment center, opened in Binghamton, New York in 1864. The ensuing century saw the rise and fall of scores of asylums, homes, and sanatoriums that treated alcoholism and substance use disorders first as failings of individual moral character, then as treatable medical diseases. Even as the movement toward medical treatment gained momentum, the tone of judgment persisted: treatment centers were frowned upon, and known colloquially by terms like foul wards, jitter joints, or jag farms. This one-two punch created the heavy stigma still associated with people seeking treatment to this day. Though a small number of gender-specific centers did exist, most participants and practitioners were men, and it wasn’t until the 1970s that addiction professionals considered the possibility that gender might play an important role in the way men and women develop and recover from addiction disorders. Gender-specific approaches to treatment reappeared in the 1980s, and in the 1990s and 2000s, addiction and mental health professionals developed comprehensive treatment approaches that recognize differences and capitalize on the relative strengths of men and women seeking recovery.

Lakeview Health is at the leading edge of the gender-responsive movement in alcohol and substance use treatment and recovery.

Gender-Responsive Treatment at Lakeview Health

 We tailor every facet of our men’s and women’s addiction treatment facilities to maximize the potential for successful, sustained, lifelong sobriety. Our core mission – integrative treatment to heal the mind, body, and spirit – is consistent between our men’s and women’s programs. However, there are significant differences in the way we design our gender-responsive programs:

Environment.

Our facilities are designed to create a safe, comfortable, and welcoming space that prioritizes respect and dignity for our male and female patients. From the colors on the walls to the style of the furniture, each choice is thoughtful and deliberate.

Relationships.

Our programming promotes positive, healthy relationships between patients in recovery. Without the distraction of the opposite sex, men and women form deep bonds that help them navigate their recovery journey.

Integrative Services.

Separate spaces to address trauma, co-occurring disorders, and issues related to family and sexuality allow men and women to open up, delve deep, speak honestly, and take steps to resolve the root causes of their addiction disorders.

Economic and Social Status.

Men and women face different economic and social obstacles before, during, and after treatment. Our programming recognizes and addresses these differences throughout the recovery and treatment process.

Community.

Patients spend almost all their time participating in gender-specific activities, but sheltering them completely is unrealistic. We gradually incorporate community events and outings to connect our men and women with the larger community and prepare them for life after treatment.

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