Addiction As a Disease

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Guardian Recovery
Treatment Program for Men

The Importance of Individualized Treatment

Substance use disorders affect men differently than they affect women — not only are the physical implications and personal consequences generally dissimilar, but the root causes tend to vary based on sex and gender. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse which studies drug and alcohol abuse in men, men are more likely than women to engage in illicit drug use, and they are far more likely to wind up in the emergency room or experience an overdose as a result of their drug use. In general, men have higher rates of substance dependency than women, though they are less likely to experience intense psychological cravings or relapse after treatment. There are also more men than women who seek professional treatment for substance use disorders. This is partially because they tend to have fewer cultural responsibilities than their female counterparts (as far as raising children and homemaking, for example), and partially because they struggle with dual diagnosis mental health disorders at significantly lower rates.

However, it can be difficult for men to reach out for help — even when professional help has clearly become a necessity. American societal and cultural standards tend to suggest that “real men don’t cry” — that emotional vulnerability (and asking for help) is a sign of weakness, and that presumed “failures” should never be readily admitted. At Guardian Recovery we understand the unique set of challenges that men face when seeking addiction treatment, and we are available to make the process easier every single step of the way. Individualized and focused treatment is crucial to making the overall treatment experience as individualized and focused as possible.

Statistics on Men & Addiction

Men have higher rates of drug use and alcohol use than women, according to another study published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that of the 14.1 million American adults over the age of 18 who had a diagnosable alcohol use disorder, 8.9 million (7.3 percent of the total population) were men. Roughly 68,000 men die at the hands of alcohol-related causes on an annual basis, and 7.6 percent of all men who died during the year 2012 lost their lives to excessive alcohol consumption. NIDA also reports that rates of drug abuse are higher among men — 5 million men reported past-year abuse of a prescription painkiller in 2016 (as opposed to 4 million women), and men are significantly more likely to abuse marijuana. If you or someone you care about has been struggling with a substance abuse disorder of any severity, Guardian Recovery is available to help. Our Men’s Rehab program was developed by a team of experienced professionals with combined decades in the fields of substance abuse and mental health. They thoroughly understand the key differences between men and women, and have extensive experience helping men of all ages overcome addictive disorders.

Challenges Unique to Men

Guardian Recovery’s Men’s Rehab program covers a wide range of challenges that are unique to men. We cover challenges that men face on a day-to-day basis and specific issues they are liable to face in early recovery. Gender-specific treatment is essential to a focused and individualized level of clinical care  — the gender-specific therapeutic group sessions we offer cover a wide range of pertinent topics, including:

  • Societal standards pertaining to masculinity – Many men grow up believing that emotional vulnerability equates to weakness, and that masculinity involves staying strong and providing for a family. We offer workshops that are focused on breaking down this term, and helping our clients reevaluate what masculinity means to them.
  • Emotional vulnerability and learning to effectively communicate emotions – It can be difficult for men to express how they are feeling. They tend to feel more comfortable opening up when surrounded by their peers, which is another reason why gender-specific treatment is so important. We teach healthy and effective communication, and how to identify and express feelings and emotions.
  • Balancing work and personal time/recovery – Many men take on the role of “breadwinner,” and have a difficult time balancing their personal lives and their recovery. We teach the importance of balance through structured scheduling and self-care.
  • Overcoming anger and effectively working through uncomfortable emotions – Men who suffer from substance abuse and dependence very commonly struggle with anger issues. We offer male-specific anger management workshops as part of our Men’s Rehab program.
  • Fatherhood and becoming a father figure – Many of our clients are fathers – we help them better understand and fulfill the role of “father figure,” while teaching them the importance of setting a good example for their dependents.
  • Developing and maintaining healthy and mutually beneficial friendships with other men – It is not uncommon for men who have struggled with active addiction to have a difficult time emotionally bonding with members of the same sex. We teach our clients to develop and maintain lasting friendships.
  • Seeking recovery from underlying mental health conditions – Men are less likely than women to seek psychological help when they are struggling with a mental illness. We teach men how to reach out for help regardless of what they are struggling with.

The Focused Services We Provide

Services we provide specifically to men in our treatment programs for men include:

  • Group therapy sessions that focus on male-specific topics
  • Anger management and stress management services
  • Communication skills workshops
  • An exploration of what the term “masculinity” truly means

Therapeutic services we offer as part of our focused addiction treatment programs include:

Our Simple Admissions Process

At Guardian Recovery we believe that quality clinical care should be readily accessible to everyone who is suffering at the hands of a substance abuse disorder. For this reason, we have developed an admissions process that is both straightforward and uncomplicated. The moment you or your loved one gives us a call we conduct a brief pre-assessment over the phone, which helps our clinical team determine which level of care is the most appropriate. We ask a series of simple, non-invasive questions, including things like, “How long have you been using chemical substances?” “Have you ever been diagnosed with a co-occurring mental health disorder?” “Is there any history of substance abuse or dependence in your immediate family?” Once the pre-assessment is complete we conduct a free, no obligation health insurance benefit check. We work with most major regional providers, as well as most major national providers. If you are currently insured there is a good chance that most of the services provided in our Men’s Rehab program will be covered. If you are underinsured or uninsured, we offer numerous alternative coverage options, including self-pay. Finally we set up a date and a time for intake and help you smooth out all travel plans. If necessary, we offer safe and reliable transportation options.

If you or a man you love has been struggling with substance abuse and mental health, Guardian Recovery is available to help. We offer a comprehensive and highly individualized program of recovery geared towards helping men of all ages develop the life skills and tools they need to maintain sobriety for years to come. To learn more about our Men’s Rehab program or to begin your own personal journey of lifelong healing contact us today. The only thing standing between you and a life beyond your wildest dreams is the motivation needed to pick up the phone.

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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave


Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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