Alcoholism treatment can work for anyone, but studies show that men and women approach it very differently. The University of Florida has released preliminary findings from a recent study, and what they’ve found supports the case for gender-specific treatment. We hope that these results can help develop more effective alcoholism treatment programs for both men and women.
Alcoholism Treatment and Women
Results will be published in the January 2014 edition of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, but early information is available now. A total of 274 men and 257 women in treatment were asked to fill out surveys pertaining to their alcohol use. Scientists looked at individual backgrounds and experiences, along with the data from the survey, when assessing the results. Although the findings were informative, more research needs to be done to identify the reasons behind them.
Women appear to seek treatment at about 4 to 5 years earlier than men do. In practical terms, this means that a woman may seek alcoholism treatment after 10 years of dealing with the illness, whereas a man is likely to wait 15 years. We also know from previous studies that men and women tend to access treatment for different reasons. Women are more likely to check themselves in, while men tend to be encouraged by friends or family, sometimes in the form of an intervention.
Scientists were unable to conclude the reason that women seek treatment earlier than men. They hypothesize that women may feel less of a social stigma than men do when it comes to entering alcoholism treatment. The data also suggest that by the time they enter treatment, women and men have both dealt with similar types of negative consequences from alcoholism. It appears that women just reach this point sooner than men do.
The idea that women progress through the stages of alcoholism more quickly than men is termed ‘telescoping.’ Evidence from this particular study is conflicting, as some appears to support the theory while other evidence does not. Women and men tend to transition from initial drinking to problems with alcoholism in a similar time frame; this doesn’t back up telescoping. However, the fact that women go from having self-perceived problems with alcohol to getting alcoholism treatment does support telescoping.
The researchers hope that this study will raise awareness about the importance of gender-based treatment, and encourage future studies that investigate the differences between men and women in terms of alcoholism.
If you or a woman you love is having problems with drug abuse, alcohol dependency and mental illness, women’s drug rehab may be the answer. Remember that recovery from addiction and alcohol abuse treatment means learning how to cope with intensely emotional situations, and identifying when you need help and support. Treatment for addiction relapse, counseling, and aftercare can help you do this, so please call us today. Destination Hope: The Women’s Program is a full service addiction and women’s health treatment facility in Florida for women who suffer from substance abuse and behavioral health issues.