With so many drug and alcohol treatment centers out there, how do coed rehab settings compare to gender-specific (male & female-only) programs?


Coed Drug Treatment Centers Versus Rehabs for Men and Women OnlyFor a number of years, professionals in the mental health and substance abuse treatment fields have weighed the pros and cons of coed versus gender-specific treatment methods and facilities administering them. As the number of women entering treatment increases, effective treatment methods increase as well.

The fact of the matter is, people entering a drug or alcohol rehab center are generally in a fight for their lives. By the time it gets to this point, addiction or alcoholism has brought them to a point in which treatment, and only treatment, must be a number one priority if they are to truly have a good chance at recovery. Nearly all experienced and credentialed addiction & mental health recovery experts will agree that coed rehab center environments are less effective than male-only and female-only facilities.

Statistics have shown that in the past, men have entered treatment programs in far greater numbers than women, with women more often seeking private counseling as opposed to the traditional drug rehab setting. With changing attitudes and social stigmas diminishing, there now appears to be a greater female presence in treatment centers, be it for substance abuse, eating disorders or other mental health related matters.

Any addiction or mental health treatment center should offer a safe and comfortable environment with defined sets of rules. And many believe that the most productive setting for both men and women is one in which the approach is gender-specific, rather than in mixed coed populations. Issues which should be addressed in addition to the substance abuse problem might be anger, shame, depression, abuse, and anxiety to name a few, and let’s face it. Men and women approach those issues in much different ways

Truth be told, a coed approach to drug or alcohol treatment might result in more romantic and/or sexual incidents, which would diminish the main purpose for the recovery process. Romantic or sexual liaisons are not uncommon in coed settings even though most treatment programs suggest a period of time, generally from one to two years, for which a newly sober individual should attempt to keep away from new romances. Anything diverting attention from the individual’s personal growth and introspection holds back their development.

Also, many believe that sharing of information in a coed setting would be diminished. Women especially are more open and trusting with their own gender and men would be more prone to let down their guard and egos with other males. In a number of instances, abuse – be it physical, mental, or sexual – might be a very serious issue. Again, especially in the female population, the comfort level for discussion and honesty would be heightened in a gender-specific setting.

Because substance abuse treatment programs for both men and women involve stripping bare a lot of very personal issues and require a slow and steady approach, the fewer distractions that are involved enhance success in a program. Keep the potential problems to a minimum. Encourage honesty and an understanding of what addiction really involves. Develop a plan for continued abstinence for the long range. And romance and relationships will develop with time and will be much healthier and long-lasting.

Can long-term, successful sobriety occur among those attending coed rehab centers? Of course, no question about it, but recovering in a gender specific setting definitely provides for a higher of that happening.

We invite any and all questions and comments pertaining to this article. For those interested in further information on Arizona Addiction Recovery Center please contact our staff 24/7 at 602.346.9130. And for those with private PPO or EPO health insurance plans, we offer a convenient online insurance verification form in order to help speed up the intake process, as well as for alleviating your need to deal with headaches of medical insurance during this difficult time for you and/or your family…

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