Structured sober living and addiction recovery housing designed for only men or only women can greatly improve one’s long-term success in sobriety.
Often the greatest predictor of whether people will remain sober after residential treatment is the amount of time spent living in a structured sober living environment. Those who remain in a structured environment beyond the first 30 or 60 days of inpatient treatment are more likely to transition back into society without relapse. Studies have shown that men and women experience drug addiction differently and have different reasons for turning to drugs and alcohol in the first place. Residing in a gender specific environment will allow individuals to begin to open up about their addiction history and life stories. Those in a coed environment are known to share more discretely, often overly concerned with what those of the opposite sex will think of them.
Different risk factors lead men and women to abuse drugs and alcohol in the first place. Anxiety, depression, borderline personality disorder and eating disorders are some problems that women may face which send them into active addiction which most men do not experience. Men are more likely to suffer from, and need help with, behavioral disorders and antisocial tendencies. Shared experiences and common difficulties allow individuals to identify with and reach out to each other. Residing in a gender specific sober living for an extended period of time gives addicts direct access to a community of people who can help them make sense of their experiences and develop strategies and coping skills to address issues.
A tenet of 12-step recovery programs is that newcomers should avoid starting a new sexual relationship for as long a year after getting sober. The wisdom of that advice will be debated forever, but living in sober house with members of the same sex makes adhering to that rule of thumb much easier for heterosexuals.
Transitioning to gender specific sober living homes offers profound advantages, including:
• Fewer distractions. Same sex housing reduces the number and intensity of distractions.
• A safe place to continue to heal. Addiction recovery housing offers an environment that is supportive, caring, and optimistic. Everyone is there to strengthen their foundation in recovery.
• Programming that focuses on gender-specific needs. Men and woman have different needs!
• Peer support and encouragement.
Gender specific sober living facilities improves individuals overall comfort level in all situations and increases their ability to remain focused on continued sobriety, 12-step meetings and putting all the puzzle pieces in place for a life based in recovery.
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