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Why Do More Men Struggle with Addiction?

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If you look at statistics involving substance use disorders and treatment admissions, you will notice that there are more men in treatment for addiction than women. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says:

Men are more likely than women to use almost all types of illicit drugs, and illicit drug use is more likely to result in emergency department visits or overdose deaths for men than for women. “Illicit” refers to the use of illegal drugs, including marijuana (according to federal law) and misuse of prescription drugs. For most age groups, men have higher rates of use or dependence on illicit drugs and alcohol than do women. However, women are just as likely as men to develop a substance use disorder. Also, women may be more susceptible to cravings and relapse, which are key phases of the addiction cycle. (NIH)

Why Do More Men Struggle with Addiction?

Why do More Men Struggle with Addiction

There are several reasons why more men struggle with addiction. First off, men are more likely to begin experimenting and using alcohol and drugs at a younger age than women. Also, men are more likely to do things in excess which means drinking excessively, and a higher rate of accidents related to heavy alcohol use (car accidents, hospitalizations, alcohol-related deaths, and risky behaviors). Some of the other reasons why men struggle with addiction more are due to trauma. Substance abuse disorders are common in both men and women that have a history of trauma, but men are more significantly impacted than women. Another factor commonly seen in people with substance abuse disorders is trauma before the age of 18 or childhood trauma (abuse or neglect). Men that have experienced physical or sexual abuse and/or parental separation or divorce are at greater risk than women. Men with PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder are also twice as likely to have a substance abuse disorder than women. Luckily, addiction treatment geared towards men is available that offers a path to getting clean and sober.

Addiction Treatment for Men

Also, men tend to handle their emotions a lot differently than women. Women openly express emotion and believe it’s okay to cry and release what they are feeling. Men will bottle up their emotions until they are at a point of no return. This can lead to depression and anxiety which are two common mental disorders seen in people that also have substance abuse disorders. Men also tend to “self-medicate” more than women because they think seeking treatment for a mental illness is considered a weakness. Another reason why more men struggle with addiction is due to pressure involving life circumstances. Many men feel pressured to exceed at work and often don’t have enough support from family members. Some are also the primary breadwinner for their families, and this puts extra added stress on them. Grief is another reason why more men tend to struggle than women. Men believe it’s socially unacceptable to openly express grief over the loss of a loved one, so they will often turn to substances to escape or cope with their loss. Mental health disorders and substance abuse disorders go hand and hand. This is why it is so important to seek treatment for both any untreated mental illnesses an individual may have while also getting treatment for their addiction. Treatment must be individualized for each patient. A lot of addiction treatment facilities offer dual diagnosis treatment which is a very important aspect of these individual’s recovery.

Men’s Treatment for Substance Abuse

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Evoke Wellness at Miramar offers cutting edge addiction treatment programs. Our facilities are committed to helping clients throughout the whole treatment experience. We will help you get through the detox process comfortably and onto residential treatment under our professional care. You don’t have to suffer any longer. Let Evoke Wellness assist you on the road to long-lasting recovery. Call us today.