Recovery is a difficult journey for men because they face different obstacles and barriers to getting help. The stigma men face may keep them from seeking help because they are supposed to be strong, fearless warrior types. They go out and find what they want and go after it. This produces ideology men have to follow that they are not to admit weakness. Addiction is not a weakness, nor is recovery, but culturally, the narrative still seems to support men as being weaker when they ask for help. To maintain recovery, men should be aware of four dynamic issues that may pop up and threaten them. Find out what the challenges are and how men can find support.
Motivation to Change
Men are less likely to engage in counseling and support services than women. They are not usually the types to open up, be vulnerable, and feel comfortable sharing. Words are not usually how men speak best, they usually speak with their actions. However, biology is not everything and men are all unique and different. The most intense participation in treatment comes from engaging with counseling in spite of the challenges and finding ways to engage physically with recovery either in nature, through working out or finding physical releases to motivate change and healing.
Men often struggle with mental health disorders that are not diagnosed. This includes anxiety, conduct disorders, or bipolar and other conditions. Effective treatment should address both addiction and mental health issues. Maintaining sobriety is difficult without the right help for dual diagnosis. Men are often reluctant to get help or find the wrong treatment programs that leave mental health issues unaddressed. They need support from loved ones to ensure they find the best programs available for their needs.
Women are typically wired for a relationship with others, but all humans desire connection. Men are just people who struggle harder at relationships and need additional help in boosting this side of their lives. Many men’s issues in addiction recovery can be managed with proper support and guidance. Although women are wired for relationships, men can push themselves to strive for better support systems by attending groups and reaching out to people they trust. Isolating themselves is a risk for relapse, but they can survive recovery if they just put a handout and asked for help.
Making connections can be very difficult. They may view drugs and alcohol as their gateway to avoiding connecting. If men don’t connect, they may resort to staying on drugs because it is easier than engaging. Addiction aftercare programs can help provide sober and supportive social connections, especially when there is hesitation or uncertainty about how to get connected in recovery. Men are particularly challenging to treat when they try to avoid contact and self-isolate. But men also want help and to heal, it just takes time to break the barriers and stigma around it. Finding a treatment that supports men’s needs is key to healing now and in the future.
The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. We treat men’s needs holistically so they feel they receive the best support from the start of the program until they transition to recovery. Rehab is hard but men are encouraged to engage in our program, be out in nature, and find ways to thrive that support their needs.