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Why Males Are More Prone to Substance Misuse

males and substance abuseWhen it comes to addiction and addiction treatment, men and women are far from equal. In fact, 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, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. What’s more, men are are more likely to develop a severe addiction disorder and abuse more than one substance.

What makes men more prone to substance misuse and abuse? Some addiction experts say it’s because men are more naturally prone to take risks. “We get into accidents more regularly, we have more unhealthy lifestyles, we die earlier, we have less insight into our health and wellbeing,” Dr Adam Winstock, a psychiatrist specializing in addiction and drug abuse, said in an interview with The Telegraph. “We’re generally predisposed to engage in a whole bunch of risky behaviors while being physiologically less equipped to deal with them.”

He also notes that social stigma plays a role, as there tends to be more shame and stigma for women then men when it comes to taking drugs. “Women are less likely to disclose their drug use to their peers, which in turn limits their access to controlled substances – if people don’t know they take drugs or would be interested in taking drugs, they’re less likely to be offered them,” said Winstock.

Here are some more surprising stats about men and addiction and addiction treatment:

  • Roughly 5 million men reported past-year misuse of drugs or alcohol.
  • Men begin using substances at an earlier age, and use more often.
  • Men are four times more likely than women to be heavy drinkers and twice as likely to be alcohol dependent.
  • More than half of men who struggle with addiction also have another mental illness, including depression, bipolar disorder and PSTD.
  • Men are more likely to struggle with recovery roadblocks, like pride and denial, as well as the following issues during addiction treatment: emotional isolation, anger or aggression, sexual problems, narcissism, father/son relationships, spiritual disconnection.

Gender-Specific Treatment at Spearhead Numerous studies have shown that gender specific environments are more effective for those in early recovery. Our men-only recovery program establishes accountability, independence and community for young adult males looking to break free from the chains of addiction. To learn more, call today: 888-483-0528.