When searching or a sober living home it is very common to find women only and men only residences. There is such a focus on equality in today’s world, it may seem strange that this is the case. Other than hospital wards (which are at least in the same building) and schools, this divide isn’t seen often in society. But there are many proven benefits and reasons for having male and female only addiction recovery homes.
Many of the reasons are down to the differences in how men and women form addictions; this reasons for this are complex and involve both biological and sociological differences between men and women. While it would be improper to generalize, the risk factors that lead to addiction can be different for the majority of women compared with men, for instance more women tend to experience eating disorders, anxiety and depression. Men are more likely to experience behavioural disorders and antisocial behaviour.
Addiction is more likely in men then it is in women, but women can become addicted more quickly.
It is these differences that are important when it comes to the recovery stage in a sober house. Sober houses are often social places where individuals naturally support and listen to one another; this is often encouraged too. When people have had shared experiences it is often far easier for them to open up and feel supported in recovery.
Evidence suggests that men are more likely to open up to other men about their thoughts and feelings.
Other scientific evidence has shown:
- Brain changes in women who use drugs can be different from those in men.
- Women who use certain substances may be more likely to have panic attacks, anxiety, or depression.
- Women are more likely to experience intense cravings and relapse.
- Men are more likely to experience more intense symptoms of alcohol withdrawal than women.
You’re less likely to find a mixed sober house for these reasons. Having men and women in the same house could create unnecessary misunderstanding, and more importantly shared experiences may serve to improve outcomes as well.