Men who are moving from addiction to recovery experience all kinds of challenges. Since a successful recovery requires staying away from drug-using friends and places associated with substance use, it’s important to have a neutral environment. One of the best ways to get into a healthy routine and build a new life is by finding a sober living house.
Sober living houses designed for men are living environments that are both alcohol-free and drug-free. Residents who live there support sobriety for everyone, making it easier to avoid temptation and develop habits that have nothing to do with substances.
Men and Substance Use
Statistically, men are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol – risky behaviors that could relate to undiagnosed mental health problems or other emotional factors. Whether a man’s drug use is due to environment, culture or his genetic makeup, the statistics indicate more men try and use illicit drugs and alcohol. Men age 18 and older have twice the rate of substance dependence compared to women, and around 67 percent of admissions to treatment centers are men. In addition, 42 percent of men 12 and older report alcohol as the primary substance they use, compared to 33 percent of women. Men also more commonly report marijuana as a primary substance. More women, however, report primary use of heroin, prescription pain relievers, cocaine or methamphetamines/amphetamines. While men are more likely to use alcohol and marijuana, recent statistics show women are just as likely to develop an addiction to these substances.
Recovering From Addiction
The good news is that scientifically based addiction treatments effectively help men get and stay sober. The best way for men to achieve successful recovery is by attending a qualified rehabilitation program. A study from Harvard University shows when men seek treatment, they are less likely to relapse than their female counterparts in treatment. As a gender, men tend to take longer to develop an addiction than women and experience fewer medical and social consequences. Men, for example, have a different body composition of more water and less fatty tissue that makes them slightly less susceptible to drugs. They also may not have responsibility for taking care of children. These factors don’t mean addiction is less harmful or serious for men. Both women and men have the potential for relapse and they should work hard to guard against it.
Topics of Interest
For many men, treatment alone isn’t enough to successfully put an end to drug or alcohol addiction. While patients learn useful tools for coping with addiction in treatment, most need a longer period of adjustment after leaving treatment. Transitional housing arrangements such as sober living facilities help during this time.
Generally, these programs are not licensed by the state and must be paid for by the residents themselves. But a study from the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs finds, however, men who live in these facilities after leaving a treatment program have good outcomes. Men who engage in helpful, anti-addiction activities, such as attending 12-Step program meetings, are more likely to fully recover from their addictions than those who simply leave treatment and return to life with no further support.Some facilities even have an in-house residents’ council, which acts as a government body for the house.
Why Sober Living Works
Why is it that sober living houses are so effective at facilitating long-term recovery from drug and alcohol addictions? Some of the most common reasons men report success with sober living facilities include:
- Increased support system
- Decreased interaction with those who use drugs and alcohol
- Time to adjust to the real world without the pressures of drugs or alcohol
- Continued counseling
- Sense of responsibility and importance from living in the house
Finding a Sober Living House
If a man you know and love is recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction or is about to enter recovery, it’s a wise idea to start looking into sober living options now. Here at Michael’s House, we connect you with the best treatment options for your situation. Call now to learn more.
1 Polcin, D. L., Korcha, R., Bond, J., & Galloway, G. (2010). What Did We Learn from Our Study on Sober Living Houses and Where Do We Go from Here? Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. Retrieved May 8, 2017 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3057870/.
2 National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Sex and Gender Differences in Substance Use. Retrieved May 8, 2017 from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/substance-use-in-women.
3 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2014). The TEDS Report: Gender Differences in Primary Substance of Abuse across Age Groups. Retrieved May 8, 2017 from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/sr077-gender-differences-2014.pdf.
4 Harvard Mental Health Letter. (2010). Addiction in Women. Retrieved May 8, 2017 from http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/addiction-in-women.
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