Being aware of the gender differences and respective indicators of success may be useful when thinking about how best to ensure an addict completes their recommended aftercare programming.
There seems to be significant gender differences in the factors that make continued aftercare more likely. It can be useful to be aware of the factors that make the completion of a treatment program more likely, when considering how best to help an individual suffering from addiction.
Surprisingly, the factors that increase the likelihood for men to complete an aftercare program do not seem to be at all influential to women, and vice versa. For men, the single greatest indicator of successfully completing a treatment program is the threat of losing employment. Other factors that increase the probability of completion are a relatively older age at the start of treatment, and a determination to remain abstinent instead of a belief in moderation. Shorter periods of rehab were also associated with severe drug problems and addictions to stimulant type drugs.
For women, the single greatest indicator of continuing treatment is being married and living with a spouse. Other indicators that increase the probability of completing a period of aftercare are higher income, being unemployed, and having less severe psychiatric symptoms.
Obviously every one is different, but these gross gender differentials can be useful when thinking about the best available treatment options, and as well how to best ensure a drug or alcohol dependent person maintains their treatment for the recommended duration. Unfortunately, being married or not is not something that outsiders have the power to influence, but for women, the importance of psychiatric health should be emphasized, and regular therapy and appropriate medications need to be used.
Employers seem to be uniquely able to assist men in maintaining sobriety, and employers should use their position of influence firstly to convince addicted employees to receive treatment, and secondly to mandate continuing sobriety as a required factor for continued employment. When dealing with addiction, knowledge is power, and anything that we can do to increase the probability of long term sobriety needs to be enacted.