Developing an addiction to alcohol and other substances can be devastating to all genders. While any gender can succumb to the weight of addiction, studies show that men typically pursue different drugs. Addiction also affects men differently, which can influence their responses to drugs and the likelihood of becoming addicted. Therefore, drug use could be more common in men.
It is important to know how addiction patterns and substance use disorders affect you and what you can do to find effective therapies. Let’s take a closer look into substance use, how it affects men, and what you can do to help manage your addiction.
Drug Use in Males: As Prevalent as it Suggests?
Often, the characteristics of developing a drug dependency occur in adolescence. Historically, studies show that illicit drug use is more common among males in high school and college and that males are more susceptible to drug use because they have more opportunities to use substances. Most young males discover substances through their peer groups. However, studies on substance use disorders have primarily focused on men, perhaps contributing to more stigmas, stereotypes, and beliefs that men are more susceptible to developing substance use disorders. Modern research indicates that while use is more common among men, the gap is closing. Further, once teenagers use drugs, they are likely to continue using, regardless of gender.
Some characteristics that contribute to each gender developing substance use disorders include:
- Using drugs at a younger age
- Abusing drugs more often and in higher quantities
- Increased risk of alcohol and tobacco use
- Engaging in binge drinking
Which Drugs Are Commonly Used?
The non-medical use of prescription medications is an ongoing and growing problem within the United States. While the gap between genders that use prescription drugs is narrowing, more men continue to use prescription drugs at high rates. Further, fatal overdose rates continue to increase among males. However, prescription drugs are not the only drugs of choice for men to develop a dependency.
Men are more likely to smoke marijuana every day. However, with the current movement to legitimize marijuana, we may begin to see cannabis products increase among all genders. Males are also likely to abuse stimulants. However, the use of cocaine, methamphetamine, and other stimulants occurs at similar rates among all genders.
Best Approach to Treatment
While people of all genders can benefit from seeking help, different treatment approaches can benefit genders differently. Finding a treatment that speaks to your needs can be more effective in helping you overcome your drug use and addiction. Therefore, effective treatment must address the various emotions you face when trying to overcome addiction. Such treatments to help men overcome addiction include:
- Providing a distraction-free environment where you can focus on recovering
- Therapies that address specific male-related issues in recovery, including masculinity
- The ability to create lasting friendships with other men in recovery
- A higher level of comfort that may be hard to experiences in a gender-mixed program
- Better communication
- Reduced feelings of judgment can result in security when addressing issues.
Additionally, therapy is a great way to help confront and process your emotions. For example, stigma is a big obstacle that prevents men from seeking help. One of the first steps to a successful treatment is acknowledging that your emotions are empowering rather than a sign of weakness. Your feelings do not make you defective or less masculine.
You can achieve these goals by seeking therapy. By attending therapy, you will enter a relationship that provides the space to help you gain better control of your emotions and learn the tools to help you in all areas of life, from personal to professional. There are various forms of therapy that you can consider, including:
- Counseling: Specialized counseling is a large part of successful treatment. Counseling in a men’s program aims to address unique issues men face, including domestic violence, anger management, and relationship counseling.
- Behavioral Therapy: Various types of behavioral therapy can effectively treat your addiction. Such therapy could involve CBT, DBT, and EMDR.
- Group Therapy: Being among a group of other men that share similar experiences, can be a great benefit to helping you understand that you are not alone in your feelings. These settings can help you repair the trust and confidence you have in yourself and others, creating life-long relationships.
- Family therapy: Family therapy and family support are great ways to help you and your family better understand what you are experiencing. It also promotes better communication among your family and motivates you and your loved ones to work together.
Drug use may be more common among men; however, quality treatment and therapy exist to combat it. If you are currently struggling to overcome your drug use, then the time to get help is today. At Choice House, we offer a comfortable and secure space to help educate men and their families on the dangers of addiction. We accomplish this by offering individual, group, and family therapy. Such therapy models will help you establish the emotional range and relationships necessary to confront and overcome the emotions that hold you back. With a location in the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains, we also have a refined outdoor therapy program that provides obstacles and challenges similar to challenges you might face in a real-world setting. Such treatment helps instill a sense of communal bonding and problem solving while simultaneously instilling independence, leadership, and confidence. Find out more and call us at Choice House today at (720) 577-4422.