Rehabs for Men: Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Substance use disorders (SUDs) can affect anyone, regardless of the gender they identify with; however, the way in which SUDs progress may be different in men than women.1 Studies show that there are higher numbers of men in rehab for drug and alcohol addiction treatment than women, which may contribute to the presence of men’s only rehabs.1
What’s most important is that the addiction treatment facility you choose, whether it’s a men’s only rehab or not, should address the whole person.2 Effective treatment is that which evaluates and treats a person’s unique needs including physical, psychological, social, and substance-specific.2
Women’s or men’s only rehab facilities can provide the same levels of care as other types of rehabs, but some men may feel more comfortable at a rehab for men. Addiction treatment for men can help focus the treatment program to allow a more individualized approach.
If you identify as male and want to know more about your treatment options, this article will help you understand what to expect from a rehab facility for men so you can start the road to recovery.
Drug and Alcohol Addiction in Men
Addiction is a chronic brain disorder that can lead people to use substances in a compulsive way.3 These compulsive patterns of substance misuse and related behaviors can be potentially risky and/or negatively impact relationships.3
Due to the physiological differences between men and women, men may not progress to dependence on substances as quickly.4 However, studies show that men are more likely than women to use most types of illicit (illegal) drugs and engage in binge drinking.4 Additionally, men who use illicit drugs are more likely than women to go to the emergency room or experience overdose and even death.4
The reasons men appear to use more illicit substances with great consequences aren’t fully known. There may be several reasons related to social, cultural, and psychological influences. It’s also possible that expectations and stereotypes assigned to males may act as barriers to men seeking help for substance misuse.
Some studies suggest that men may feel more lonely, sad, or distressed because they aren’t sure where to seek emotional support, potentially leading to mental health challenges or risk factors for addiction.5
Epigenetics may also play a role, which is the way in which the brain is “marked” by environmental exposure, thus affecting the structure of a person’s DNA.6 Thus, a person’s repeated experiences, trauma, or even substance use may impact traits passed on to children or traits that were passed down to men from their parents.6
Other differences between men and women that may affect substance use include:7
- Sex hormones.
- Traumatic experiences.
- Effects on the brain and body.
- How substances are metabolized in the body.
Men’s Only Rehab vs. Mixed Gender Rehab
While there is no concrete evidence that rehabs for men are more effective than other types of treatment, some men may feel more comfortable starting recovery in a gender-specific environment.
Treatment programs used at a men’s rehab are like those used in other addiction treatment programs. However, more focus may be put on serving the specific needs of men. Common services that may be tailored to men include:
- Individual and group therapy. Addiction treatment facilities often use evidence-based therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to help people gain understanding about substance misuse and identify and cope with triggers. Recovery programs and therapy for men may also address gender-specific issues. Group therapy sessions would be for men only.
- Community support. Males who choose a men’s only rehab can build community with other men who understand their struggles. This environment may help them share their experiences more openly, which may be more difficult for men who feel the stigma of addiction and getting help. The community can also be helpful in building a support network after treatment.
- Medications. If necessary, some men may be prescribed medications during detoxification to help ease withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal may be different for men than women, so tailoring treatment and medications to their needs is important.2, 4, 7 A therapist or psychiatrist may also recommend medications to help treat co-occurring disorders.
Factors to Consider in Rehabs for Men
There is not a one-size-fits-all treatment program for addiction. Every individual’s experience will be different, and each treatment solution should be tailored to the individual who is seeking help.2
Men who face addiction issues and desire male-oriented treatment plans have several options including inpatient, outpatient, and sober living options. Factors to consider in rehab programs for men include:
- Location. Should the treatment center be near the individual’s home, making visits from family and friends relatively easy, or would he prefer to travel for treatment to focus on recovery?
- Duration. Depending on a person’s treatment needs, they may enter treatment for 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, or longer. Both inpatient and outpatient treatment can vary in length and intensity.
- Cost. The cost of treatment varies based on several factors like location, duration, amenities, insurance and services offered. Typically, inpatient treatment is more expensive because people stay in the facility for the entirety of their treatment. If you have insurance, be sure to check your coverage to see what’s covered at a facility.
- Continuing care. Rehabs for men should offer continuing care plans that are worked out between you and your treatment team. This may include step-down treatment in an outpatient facility, therapy, drug counseling, sober living, medication management, and more.
- Mutual support groups. Support groups like 12-step groups and other mutual support may be helpful in reducing the risk of relapse and creating a network of support.
Do You Want to Know More About Addiction Treatment?
No matter what gender you identify as one of the bravest steps you can take is to get support. There are several ways to get help like talking to your doctor, a mental health professional, trusted loved ones, or, if you’re ready, contacting an addiction treatment facility.
American Addiction Centers has numerous addiction treatment facilities across the nation and we’re just a phone call away if you need to talk to someone about your struggles. Our free, confidential helpline is staffed by caring people, many who have experienced the struggle of addiction themselves. They are available 24/7 to hear your story, help you understand treatment options, and provide addiction resources to support your recovery. No matter what stage of the journey you’re at, contact us at to start on a new path.