Why Does Personalized Care in Addiction Recovery Matter?

Updated on July 9th, 2020
red balloon standing outEach person’s struggle with addiction is unique and there are many different paths to recovery. Personalized care in detox, rehab, and recovery is essential to ensure that every person receives treatment that is designed to meet their individual needs. While this is often prioritized in the earlier stages of treatment, it should also continue well into recovery with programs like sober living and aftercare.

What is Personalized Addiction Treatment?

personalized addiction session

Personalized addiction treatment is medical and clinical care for addiction that is defined by the client’s physical, psychological, and social needs. This is the opposite of a cookie-cutter approach to addiction treatment, that treats every client the same. Conversely, with personalized addiction treatment, each aspect of the recovery program is tailor-made to address the needs of the client.

Over the last century, addiction treatment has come a long way and we now actively use evidence-based treatment methods to help people overcome their addictions. However, there is a need for more individually-tailored treatment and recovery services, as a personalized approach is what will help people make lasting, lifelong changes.1

3 Reasons Personalized Care in Addiction Recovery Matters

Differences matter. No single treatment method works for everyone because many different factors influence a person’s ability to sustain long-term sobriety. Here are some of the main reasons personalized care in addiction recovery matters.

  1. Every person faces different challenges in recovery. While many people in recovery face similar struggles, each person will have different relapse triggers, stressors, and individual circumstances that may cause them to stumble. Additionally, each person’s family and social dynamic will vary, which will have a great impact on the level of personal support they receive outside of their sober living home.
  2. Not all clients respond the same way to treatment. Whether it’s detox, rehab, or a sober living program, not all clients will respond to a treatment program in the same way. It’s important to find what works best for you and to be in a treatment environment where staff members are willing to adjust and change as necessary.
  3. A relapse prevention plan should apply to you. Because not all people face the same challenges in recovery, not all relapse prevention plans will be the same. As a person enrolled in a sober living program, your recovery coach, sponsor, or peer recovery specialist should work with you to develop a relapse prevention plan that addresses your specific needs and risk factors in recovery.
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    Gender Differences in Substance Use Disorders

    Research shows that many different factors affect addiction treatment outcomes, including:2

    • Sexual abuse history
    • Parenthood
    • Income
    • Marital status
    • Education level
    • Job status
    • Types of substances used
    • Psychiatric disorders

    Many of these factors vary depending on gender, and women may be more or less likely to face certain issues than men (and vice versa). As a result, gender-specific sober living homes are significantly more effective than co-ed sober living homes, as they provide several specific advantages for individuals in recovery.

    Fewer Distractions

    The last thing you need when you’re newly sober is a distraction from the healing journey. This includes the distraction that comes with being around the opposite sex. There’s the underlying temptation to want to get romantically involved, which is never a recommended course of action for the first year following treatment. Indeed, from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recommends no romantic involvement among men and women in a treatment group, saying further that such involvement can sabotage recovery for either party.3

    Yet there are many more distractions that can detract from sobriety, particularly in the early days of recovery when coping strategies need the most reinforcement. Whether the distractions come from work, home, school, or elsewhere, they are a formidable force to have to deal with. Gender-specific sober living helps reduce the frequency and intensity of distractions while making the recovery journey smoother.

    A Safe Place to Continue to Heal

    Safety is an important aspect of recovery and one that may be missing from a home environment immediately following completion of a formal treatment program at a residential treatment facility. Some individuals lack a safe home environment to return to, or they haven’t yet developed sufficient self-confidence to be able to tackle the pressures of work and home and still adhere to recovery goals, treatment, and meetings, challenging themselves to become stronger and more resilient.

    With gender-specific sober living, however, the environment is one that’s supportive, optimistic, caring, and genuine. Everyone there wants to further develop and strengthen their foundation in recovery, without fear of being undermined by well-intentioned but often misinformed loved ones, family members, co-workers, and others.

    Programming that Focuses on Gender-Specific Needs

    Men and women have dissimilar needs when it comes to effective programming post-treatment. Men, for example, often have difficulty expressing their emotions, identifying weaknesses and problems, asking for help, and understanding their feelings.4 In a co-ed sober living home, men are more likely to feel the need to prove themselves to the opposite sex, leading to competitive interaction with other men and diminished commitment to recovery.

    Similarly, women in recovery feel more freedom to discuss difficult topics such as relationship issues and abuse with other women present, as opposed to a mixed-gender population in sober homes.5

    With the specific needs of men and women in mind, gender-specific individual and group treatment sessions allow for laser-focused treatment that addresses each gender’s differences and maximizes the effectiveness of support for recovery goals.

    Living In a Structured Environment

    Upon leaving formal treatment, being thrust into the outside world without the reassurance of structure can prove detrimental to budding recovery. Those who are newly sober need the familiarity and consistency of structure to assist in their healing efforts. Sober living homes are a crucial part of an effective transition to society.6

    For example, there are rules for living in all sober living homes. Everyone is expected to keep his or her room clean, to help with chores, to pay rent, and may be required to participate in 12-step meetings. In gender-specific sober living, not only is there the familiarity of the structure, but there’s also the comfort and peace of mind knowing that the home’s other residents share the common bond of gender – and the desire to gain strength in their recovery foundation.

    Peer Support and Encouragement

    group session

    When you’re facing the struggles of early recovery, peer support, identification, and encouragement can make all the difference between sustaining recovery and relapse.7 The first few weeks after treatment are often the most challenging times for newly sober men and women. In gender-specific sober homes, you live with other individuals who know what you’re going through because they’re going through it themselves.

    When recovering men live with other newly-sober men, and women on the recovery path live in a sober home with other women choosing the path of sobriety, it’s easier for same-sex individuals to relate to each other. This is a time when you need support and encouragement to help motivate you to continue the work of recovery.

    Supportive, caring individuals of the same sex also won’t enable your addiction, which decreases the likelihood that you’ll falter by association with those who aren’t committed to your sobriety.

    Custom Addiction Treatment Plans and Sober Living Programs

    Many people who complete detox and rehab continue their treatment by enrolling in a sober living program. There are many different ways that sober living programs can be flexible to meet your specific needs in recovery. Here are some of the most common ways.

    • The location of the sober living home: Sober living homes are located all over the country so you can find a sober living location that best suits your lifestyle and budget. While some people may prefer to live in a sober living home near their home where family and friends are close by, others may prefer to relocate to a new place entirely for a fresh start that is free from the distractions of an old life.
    • The type of room options: Many sober living homes also offer several different rooming options for people with different preferences and budgets. Whether you prefer to live with a roommate, need a pet-friendly sober living home, or would like a private room, a sober living home with several options can provide optimal comfort and support for you.
    • The level of personal support: Sober living homes are designed to assist people in all walks of sobriety. Regardless of how long you’ve been sober or how many times you’ve relapsed, a sober living home can provide varying levels of recovery support to meet you where you are throughout different phases of your recovery journey.
    • Various types of social services: After rehab, you may be looking for a new job, volunteer opportunities, or searching for an educational program that will give you the tools you need to start a new career. Wherever you find yourself, a sober living home can also provide social services such as employment assistance, volunteer placement, and educational planning to help you move on to the next phase in your life.
    • Access to therapeutic services: Long after detox and rehab are over, some people may still struggle with issues like depression, anxiety, or PTSD. Many sober living homes also offer access to therapeutic services so clients can receive professional clinical care for personal issues that influence their ability to stay sober.

    Sober living homes provide a great deal of flexibility and personalized care for people who are recovering from addiction. If you’re interested in exploring the many options available to you, contact Eudaimonia Recovery Homes today to speak with a member of our admissions team.


    1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4654192/
    2. https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh291/55-62.htm
    3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11325168
    4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK144290/
    5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK83257/
    6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3057870/
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