Pros and Cons of Coed Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Once they have committed themselves to recovery, cocaine addicts can choose from a wide range of treatment programs. The emergence of single-gender programs has brought one more characteristic to consider: Coed or single-gender? Coed programs have some advantages (pros) and drawbacks (cons).

Pro: Availability

The great majority of treatment programs serve both men and women. Finding a single-gender program may mean choosing one that is located far from home or has a waiting list for enrollment.

Pro: Cost

Costs for coed cocaine addiction treatment programs run the entire range from free programs such as Narconon up to very expensive luxury retreat inpatient programs.

Single-gender programs tend to be more costly. They serve a smaller number of clients who seek out the single-gender format. The more affordable programs, often funded by governments or charities, usually aim to be as inclusive as possible. Their programs, therefore, are most likely to be open to both genders.

Pro: Capabilities

Since coed programs are more common, a wider range of capabilities is likely to be found among those programs. Some important aspects of treatment that may be more difficult to find among single-gender treatment programs include:

  • Treatment for co-occurring mental disorders
  • Medical detox with medication such as Suboxone
  • Family counseling
  • Vocational counseling or training

Single-gender programs are often more specialized and cannot meet as many diverse needs simultaneously as coed programs can.

Pro: Men Are More Comfortable

Many treatment programs make extensive use of group therapy. People can gain insight and support by sharing personal stories and feelings with others who are working through similar problems.

For most men, the best kind of treatment group to be a part of appears to be one with both men and women. Discussions of emotional topics or events, which can be helpful during cocaine addiction treatment, are sometimes considered off-limits within groups of men. When women are included in groups, men may be better able to engage in open discussion of personal topics.

Con: Women Speak Less Freely

While a coed group appears to be better for men, a group comprised only of women may be better for female addicts. Men have a tendency to dominate group discussions of mixed-gender groups. Furthermore, women who have histories of sexual abuse may be reluctant to discuss it in a group with men.

Con: Less Sensitivity to Women’s Needs

A focus on male addicts is part of the heritage of many treatment programs. Women continue to benefit from treatment approaches developed primarily by treating men, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Women’s physiology and the range of societal demands placed on her can lead to very different dynamics of addiction from those of men. Coed programs are less able to adjust to the needs of one gender over the other.

Con: Romantic Complications

Treatment gives cocaine addicts not only the tools and guidance to work toward sobriety but also the opportunity to focus on themselves and their progress. Coed programs, however, also provide the possibility for romantic relationships to develop.

Romances are common among addiction treatment participants despite the efforts of most coed cocaine addiction treatment programs to keep these relationships from developing. They are not only major distractions, but romance in treatment runs counter to some of the goals of treatment. Addicts are preparing for a drug-free life by learning to cope with stresses and problems using only their own internal capabilities. Romances can short-circuit this learning process by enabling a continued reliance on external positive validation.

Learn More

Cocaine addicts, their families, and counselors should carefully consider these pros and cons before selecting a coed or gender-specific addiction treatment program. To learn more about treatment option for yourself or someone you know, call our 24 hour helpline. The call is toll free.

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