In one study, around 55% of Americans aged over 18 reported that they’d drunk alcohol at least once in the past month.
Consuming alcohol in this way isn’t necessarily dangerous – one drink a month is unlikely to hurt! But, using substances like alcohol and drugs can quickly spiral out of control for some people, ending in substance abuse.
Millions upon millions of people in the USA have an addiction, and it’s common to think that men are more likely to be at risk of substance abuse. Is this really true, or do women suffer from addiction just as much as men?
Our men’s rehab program team is here to tell you everything you need to know.
Comparing Drug Addiction in Men and Women
When looking at drug addiction and gender, there’s a clear divide between men and women. For decades now, men have been recorded as more likely to use all types of illegal drugs, including cocaine and heroin. The use of drugs doesn’t always lead to addiction, of course, but it does make it possible.
So, how many men vs. women are struggling with drug addiction?
There’s not a huge amount of new research, but studies from throughout the 2010s show that men were around twice as likely as women to develop a substance abuse problem. Alongside the more prevalent use of drugs, it’s not hard to see that there’s a clear link between substance abuse and men.
Comparing Alcoholism in Men and Women
It’s not just drugs that men tend to misuse more, but alcohol too. In 2016, it was recorded that globally, almost 55% of men over the age of 15 drank alcohol, compared to just over 30% of women. In the US, men drink far more heavily, too, consuming almost three times as much every year.
7% of men are diagnosed with alcohol use disorder every year in the US, compared with only 4% of women.
However, this gap is starting to narrow, with more women beginning to develop problems than in previous years. In some countries, such as Norway, women are already drinking as much as men, closing the gap globally. In the future, it won’t be surprising if there isn’t a gender division at all when it comes to alcoholism.
More Insight Into Substance Use Disorder in Genders
It’s not just how likely men and women are to end up in alcohol or drug rehab in MA that differs. There are a whole host of statistics out there that show the clear divide! One study conducted by Tammy L. Anderson, Ph.D., shows that on average:
- Men begin using drugs at a younger age
- Men use illicit substances in higher quantities
- Men are more likely to engage in binge drinking
When you look at how much more likely men are to suffer from substance abuse problems, these aren’t too surprising. But they do offer some insight into how patterns of behavior can lead to dangerous addictions.
Women Don’t Have It Easy
Even though men are generally more likely to develop an addiction, that doesn’t mean women are in the clear. In fact, substances can often be more addictive to them, even when used for shorter times and in lesser quantities. They can also develop more intense cravings and are more likely to relapse after recovering from substance misuse.
This could be due to hormonal responses. The hormones present in female bodies that aren’t in male bodies could make women more sensitive to the effects of drugs and the consequent addiction.
Why Do Men Suffer More From Substance Use Disorder?
For both drugs and alcohol, although women are genetically more likely to become addicted, it’s men in reality who suffer more from substance abuse. There are a number of reasons why this may be the case, including:
- More peer pressure among peers
- More of a stigma around mental health that can prevent men from getting help which leads to self-medicating
- Men are more likely to externalize their emotions
It could also be that men are more tolerant of substance misuse in general. If you have a male friend who frequently gets blackout drunk or drinks in non-drinking situations, it could be seen as more normal than if a female were to do the same. This can quickly lead to problems that don’t get treated quickly enough.
What Should You Do If You Suffer From Addiction?
If you or someone you know – male or female – is suffering from addiction, it’s vital you look into substance misuse treatment options. There are so many ways you can seek help, including through therapists, doctors, or by seeking male addiction treatment in MA.
The first step, however, is simply to talk about the problem. If you think you may be addicted to a substance, reach out to someone you can trust and ask them for help. Sometimes simply having someone on your team who knows what you’re going through can be enough to start making those steps towards recovery.
If you know someone who has an addiction, be sure to reach out to them. Be careful not to offend or scare the individual away, but ensure they know that you’re there if they need support.
Our Men’s Rehab Program
If you’re on the hunt for a men’s rehab program, our alcohol rehab in MA is here to help. With specialized addiction treatments geared towards men, we can help you or someone you love on their road to recovery. We know that men need different approaches to healing than women, which is why we offer gendered treatments.
To learn more or seek help, feel free to get in touch with our team today. When it comes to addiction, we’re always ready to talk.