Alcohol abuse is the act of drinking alcohol in a way that leads to health, legal, financial and relationship problems. The physical effects of alcohol abuse are similar for men and women, but some health issues affect men more severely than women.

Men may experience liver cancer, mouth, throat or oesophagal cancer, strokes, or heart attacks.

Some of the consequences of excessive drinking are related to long-term abuse, other consequences can negatively impact men over the short-to-medium term. One of these health problems is male sexual dysfunction, such as erectile dysfunction, impotence, and infertility.

When dealing with alcohol addiction, men need to seek professional help. During rehab treatment, men receive the necessary tools to cope with stressful situations without drinking. The therapy programmes can teach them how to deal with urges and cravings and avoid triggers and relapse.

Unity – Men’s Programme

The Unity Men’s Programme at Recovery Gardens is a specialised second-stage therapy programme for our male patients. This represents a continuum of the standard 28-day intensive addiction treatment programme and is therefore particularly suitable for men who have already completed a 4-6 week primary care programme for alcohol or drug addiction.

During the Men’s Programme, patients continue to work on their main therapy goals as established during primary care and develop new objectives with the help of their focal therapist. Each patient receives their own personalised treatment plan which will include a blend of specialist addiction therapies, as well as complementary therapies.

The Men’s Programme is particularly designed to treat the underlying causes of addiction, as well as the most prevalent issues associated with relapse prevention. It is also extremely valuable for patients with dual-diagnosis, comorbidity and other complex needs.

The main benefit of a male programme is the opportunity it gives patients to focus on male-gender specific issues, such as anger management, abuse to women or by women, sexuality issues and other matters that are not appropriate for mixed groups. However, there are some aspects of the treatment programme that will be jointly attended by males and females, which gives the community of patients the chance to tap into real-life situations and prepare for successful reintegration back into their daily lives.

There is a wide range of scientific evidence that supports that longer addiction treatment programmes of over 6 weeks are essential for the long-term recovery of patients with complex underlying issues or failed attempts to sustain abstinence. A longer stay in residential rehab helps patients to process situations in their own rhythm, to cement a proper foundation for recovery and fully sever the links to their addiction.

Blend of Therapies

At Recovery Gardens, we provide several types of therapies and other activities to treat the deep-rooted issues of addiction. This includes:

  • Specialist therapies like individual therapy, group therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy.
  • Complementary therapies: trauma groups, grief group, eating-disorder group, mindfulness meditation, Adult Children of Alcoholics therapy meetings, art therapy, equine therapy, drumming therapy.
  • Relapse prevention group where patients learn to identify their addiction triggers and learn how to overcome them through practising new coping skills.
  • Psycho-educational lectures on anger management, relationship issues, social anxiety, problems associated with dysfunctional family backgrounds.
  • Other dedicated activities for the patients’ overall mental and physical wellbeing: fitness, swimming, table-tennis, board games, country walks, weekend breaks for Saturday shopping for 2-3 hours and visiting local museums in Edinburgh.
  • Daily community activities are associated with patients bonding with other members of the community, organising themselves and carrying-out chores within houses and preparing entertainment nights.

Daily Schedule

Regaining structure in a patient’s life is very important for people who struggled with a drug or alcohol misuse problem, as this usually negatively affects all aspects of a person’s life. To this end, we carefully design a daily schedule for all our patients, so that they start practising getting back to a daily routine of new, healthy habits.

  • Each day starts early with meditation in the morning, followed by breakfast. This can alternate with organised, structured walks, led by one of our fitness instructors.
  • Group and individual therapies start in the morning at around 9.30 am – Monday to Friday.
  • This is followed by other activities like fitness, complementary therapies or house chores which help patients take responsibility for keeping their environment tidy and clean.
  • After lunch, patients go to individual therapy sessions or they may be attending other therapy groups. (trauma group, Adult Children of Alcoholics, lectures, relapse prevention, etc)
  • They also get free time in the afternoon to contemplate and work on individual therapeutic assignments that they might have been given by their focal therapist, surrounding their personal recovery goals – such as journaling or reading.
  • After dinner, in the evening, patients attend AA/NA groups.
  • On weekends, patients attend family therapy. We also organise short trips for local shopping or sightseeing in Edinburgh and other cities. On Saturday evenings we invite guest speakers (such as recovered former patients) to tell their inspiring stories for groups. On Sunday the community of patients run their own peer support group in the afternoon – which is a group designed to help the community from within, through its members.