Men face many unique health risks, such as certain cancers and diseases. They also face an increased risk of addiction and dying from an overdose. Throughout the year, it is important to learn the issues men face with addiction and work to treat the condition early. Keep reading for more information statistics, why men are more likely to use, health risks men face with addiction and more.
Statistics on Men and Addiction
- Men are more likely than women to use almost all types of illicit drugs
- For most age groups, men have higher rates of use or dependence on illicit drugs and alcohol than women
- Men have higher rates than women of alcohol use, including binge drinking
- 11.5% of males over 12 have a substance use disorder compared to 6.4% of females
- Men are more likely to abuse substances due to peer pressure or to be part of a group
Why Are Men More Likely to Use?
As noted above, men are more likely to use and experience complications from addiction than women. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that men are greater risk-takers, men are more likely to self-medicate, and stereotypical masculinity gets in the way.
Men Are Greater Risk-Takers
According to a study by the American Psychological Association, across a wide range of real-world domains, men engage in more risky behaviors than women. This is because women tend to judge the negative outcomes earlier than men, and these judgments can impact a woman’s decision-making more than in men.
In addition, scientists at Newcastle University in the U.K. have discovered that girls tend to optimize brain connections earlier than boys. The researchers conclude that this may explain why females generally mature faster in certain cognitive and emotional areas than males during childhood and adolescence. This can also be one of the reasons that men are greater risk-takers than women, especially at a time where individuals are specifically vulnerable to peer-pressure.
Men Are More Likely to Self-Medicate
Depression, anxiety and PTSD are major underlying causes of addiction. Men are less likely to enter treatment than women, which leaves them more likely to self-medicate than women. Even though women are more likely to develop depression than men, men are less likely to get help, which puts them at a greater risk of worsening their depression. Luckily, underlying conditions such as these are treatable at facilities like ours through dual diagnosis treatment.
Self-medicating is a dangerous cycle. While it can leave an individual feeling temporarily relieved of symptoms for a few moments, it eventually causes the underlying symptom to worsen. Constantly chasing the temporary feeling of relief will quickly lead an individual down the path toward a deadly addiction. These worsening symptoms lead to more use, which leads to dependency and, eventually, an overdose which can be deadly.
Simply Put: Masculinity
Unfortunately, one of the unique issues men face as a barrier to treatment is the stigma of stereotypical masculinity. This means men can feel “less-than” or “out of control” if they admit any sort of weakness, such as an addiction. Because of this, men are less likely to admit their problems even if they know they have one. This can eventually cause deadly consequences.
Even if men are able to make it to addiction treatment, they are less likely to open up to their therapist and receive the full benefits of treatment than women. This is because it is more difficult for men to talk about their emotions in general, which makes choosing the right treatment center extremely important.
About New Hope
New Hope Ranch is a residential treatment center focusing on prevention, assessment, treatment, and reintegration for people suffering from substance abuse. Services are provided on our beautiful 49-acre ranch just 15 minutes from downtown Austin, Texas.
New Hope Ranch’s mission has two basic purposes: to improve social behavior and enhance personal recovery and growth. The organization has a culture of innovation that thrives on the creation of new services that meet the community’s needs while maintaining effectiveness, excellence, and professionalism. New Hope Ranch values an integrated system of high-quality care focused on best practices, easy access to services, and providing a full range of services in an efficient manner.
Our Treatment Philosophy consists of providing the highest quality services while ensuring that each patient has a personalized treatment plan. New Hope Ranch met the rigorous standards and regulations the Joint Commission requires for a behavioral health provider to achieve accreditation and we strive every day to represent our gold standard joint commission accreditation proudly.