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The Benefits of a Gender-Specific Addiction Recovery Program

While some addiction recovery programs are all-inclusive, others specify that they are tailored either to men or to women. Why is that? Are there benefits that come from choosing a gender-specific addiction recovery program?

At Experience Recovery, we believe that the answer is yes. Our inpatient recovery programs are gender-specific, and we have a few reasons behind that. In this post, we’ll outline just a few of them; to learn more about why we do things the way that we do, contact us at our Orange County location any time!

Why Choose a Gender-Specific Addiction Recovery?

The primary reason to choose a gender-specific addiction recovery program is that men and women are different—plain and simple. Physical differences in their bodies mean that they experience addiction in different ways—and thus, a one-size-fits-all treatment approach just doesn’t cut it.


  • Women have a lower average body weight than men do; they generally carry more fat and less water, which means they retain drugs and alcohol in their fatty cells for longer stretches of time. Thus, the internal organs of a woman are exposed to the effects of drugs and alcohol for longer.
  • Additionally, women have fewer enzymes to help them break up alcohol in their stomach and liver—which means more alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream, and at a faster rate than it is with men.
  • It is for these reasons that drugs and alcohol tend to impact women more quickly and more strongly than with men; it is often said that a single alcoholic drink impacts women in the same way that two drinks impact a man, which is a good rule of thumb.
  • Women also develop a dependence on drugs more quickly than men do—again, due to physical distinctions.
  • In addition, the physical effects of drugs can be different from men to women, simply due to hormonal differences; for women, for instance, hormonal fluctuations can lead to different levels of cravings than what men might experience.

The bottom line: Drug and alcohol addiction affects all of us differently. Often, those differences fall along gender lines. As such, to receive truly tailored and individualized care, a good starting point is to find a program that is gender-specific, like the ones offered here at Experience Recovery.

Additional Reasons to Seek Gender-Specific Recovery

There are other reasons to seek gender-specific recovery, as well. For one thing, men are generally more comfortable sharing—really opening up and being honest—with other men. In an absence of women, men may not feel the cultural expectation to be “strong” or “tough”—and in making themselves vulnerable, they’ll get more out of addiction recovery.

What’s more, a group of all men will find it easier to discuss common experiences, without spending a lot of time stuck on gender issues—and the same is true for all-women’s groups. For example, if a woman wants to open up about past sexual victimization or other traumatic incidents, that’s the kind of thing that’s simply easier to discuss candidly in a female-only setting.

Seek the Addiction Recovery Program That’s Right for You

As you seek the right addiction recovery program, there are many factors to consider—and we believe that gender specificity should be among them.

We invite you to learn more about the options for long-term recovery that we offer here at Experience Recovery in Orange County, California. Take your first step toward a life of true freedom. Reach out to Experience Recovery to learn more about addiction treatment in a gender-specific setting.

Get Help Today!

If you or a loved one needs help getting sober, Experience Recovery can help. Our admissions line is open 24/7.

Get Help Today

If you or a loved one needs help getting sober, Experience Recovery can help. Our admissions line is open 24/7.

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