Addiction is a very complex, almost enigmatic disease compared to most other diseases. While most others are either physical or psychological, addiction is a disease that has profound physical and psychological effects. This makes it a particularly difficult disease to treat since everyone who becomes addicted experiences the disease in their own way. Instead of all addicts experiencing the same symptoms or effects from addiction, there’s great variation in the very diverse effects of addiction, which can be physical, mental, emotional, social, behavioral, and even spiritual, which is why the development of an addiction amounts to an all-consuming level of profound personal deterioration.
In addition to being profoundly destructive, addiction has affected virtually the entire demographic spectrum. Men and women of all ages, from all regions and religions, have fallen prey to the addictive power of alcohol and drugs. Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options available that will allow those who suffer from addictions to regain their physical, psychological, and spiritual health. However, there are a number of factors that influence the treatments one needs to overcome addiction. Part of choosing the right program is being able to assess one’s needs and determine the programming that best addresses those needs. For instance, women often have certain recovery needs that are addressed in treatment programs for women while adolescents and teens have needs that are addressed in programs for youths. Therefore, the following will describe some of the gender differences seen among addicts while explaining the benefits of addiction treatment programs for men.
Addiction & Gender
There have been countless studies on addiction since sources determined that we’re in the midst of an addiction epidemic. According to statistics, one in every ten Americans — or roughly ten percent — over the age of 12 are currently suffering from a substance abuse problem. With roughly half the human population being male and the other female, one might expect that half of all addicts would be men while the other were women; however, that’s not been the case.
Most studies report that men tend to become addicted to alcohol or drugs significantly more frequently than women while women tend to become addicted faster than men. Although few sources give a specific ratio, estimates based on the ratio of men to women in Alcoholics Anonymous suggest that there are two male addicts for every female addicts. Other states suggest that the lifetime prevalence of addiction in men is 36 percent while the lifetime prevalence for women is only 18 percent. Additionally, there’s been a correlation found between an elevated rate of addiction among men and an elevated rate of suicide, suggesting that there might be emotional reasons that underscore the development of a substance abuse problem among men.
Recovery Needs of Addicted Men
In order to understand the recovery needs of men, one must have an understanding of the most common reasons why men use mind-altering substances and some of the main triggers of relapse among men in recovery. Many men begin abusing substances like alcohol or drugs as a means of alleviating symptoms of mental or emotional distress. Being unlikely or hesitant to share their thoughts and feelings, men are significantly more likely to have psychological disorders that go undiagnosed than women.
Similarly, it’s very common for men to use alcohol or drugs to cope with stress and hardship rather than talking things out. In fact, men tend to bottle or suppress their emotions, using substance abuse as a means of venting or to make it easier to suppress their feelings. Additionally, men often turn to alcohol or drugs when they’re confronted with a situation that they don’t know how to handle; for instance, when in a relationship that becomes more serious than they had expected or were wanting, men will often use alcohol or drugs as a means of taking their mind off their problems, simply wanting to forget about it rather than address it.
Addiction Treatment Programs for Men
Considering some of the scenarios that cause men to turn to substance abuse, there are a number of specific needs that men have and which should be addressed by recovery programs for men. In particular, men’s treatment programs should include counseling and psychotherapy that help them to become more comfortable with their feelings and encourage them to express rather than suppress themselves.
Moreover, there are many men who tend to only become social when among other men, making men’s treatment programs a better choice because they’ll feel more comfortable, more willing to participate, and better able to socialize and share with others. Men’s programs can also remain aware that it’s common for men to have undiagnosed psychological disorders; with men’s programs employing professionals who specialize in treating men, it’s more likely that symptoms of mental or emotional distress will be identified so the patient can begin receiving the treatments he needs to recovery.
If You’re Ready to Kick That Habit, Addiction Information Can Help
There’s no form of treatment or program that is optimal for every addict’s needs, which is why it’s important for each individual to find the program that can be personalized to offer comprehensive treatment. At Addiction Information, we make it our job to help any addict find the program that’s best for him or her, helping the individual to achieve stable, long-lasting sobriety. For a free consultation and assessment, call Addiction Information at 844-242-0890. Our specialists and intake coordinators are available anytime to help you or your loved one return to a life of independence and fulfillment.