Men’s health is celebrated in June of every year. During this month, men are encouraged to monitor and manage their health properly. The awareness of preventable men’s health issues is also raised during this month. What’s more, early detection of common men’s health issues and their treatment is encouraged. One of the issues that are talked about in different forums during this month is drug addiction.

Substance abuse and addiction are personal issues. As such, they affect individuals differently. But, substance abuse and addiction affect women and men differently. How a man is affected by drug addiction mentally, physically, and emotionally is different from how a woman is affected. Consequently, how males are prone to substance abuse and addiction is different from the vulnerability of females to the same problem. The same applies to the effects of addiction and treatment.

Differences in male’s addiction and female’s addiction is witnessed when attending AA meetings Some men say that addiction affects them differently from the way it affects women. And, these differences should not be ignored when addressing addiction and men’s health. Here are some of the key issues that shouldn’t be ignored when dealing with addiction and men’s health.

Men’s Vulnerability to Addiction

Research has indicated that males are more vulnerable to illicit drug abuse than females. The rates at which men struggle with substance abuse is almost double that of women. Most men are likely to use illicit drugs to satisfy their pleasure-seeking habits, boost positive moods, and cope with behavioral problems or social situations.

Essentially, males and females have varying predisposing factors. In most cases, men do not use drugs as a general social activity. They would rather use addictive substances due to their effects. For instance, some males struggle to open up or express the emotions they have due to mental health problems.

For some males, mental issues are indicative of weakness as they express during the meetings of AA support groups. As such, some men abuse drugs to self-medicate. Unfortunately, this eventually leads to addiction.

But, women have higher chances of abusing drugs trying to treat eating disorders, anxiety, or depression. This is different because some men experience antisocial personality illness. Unfortunately, they use unhealthy mechanisms to cope by treating their undiagnosed emotional pain and mental health issues. And, these mechanisms exacerbate their problems.

Addiction Effects on Men

Males and females are different biologically. And, this influences how addiction affects the members of both genders. The metabolism and body composition make men require more alcohol or addiction substances to be intoxicated. Consequently, addiction takes longer to develop in men than in women. However, addiction becomes more severe in men than in women. Men have higher chances of experiencing an overdose because of their addiction severity and prevalence.

Withdrawal symptoms are greater in males than in females. This explains why men have difficulties enduring the early phases of abstinence and subsequent withdrawal. Perhaps, you’ve tried to convince a man to attend a support group meeting and gotten unexpected responses. For instance, the person may have asked, how long do AA meetings last? That’s because they do not want to be in an environment where they feel restricted or uncomfortable longer.

Nevertheless, the chances of experiencing a relapse are lower for men after the initial phase. They are also likely to be clean and sober longer than women. But, outside factors can lead to the possibility of a relapse. However, these vary from one person to another regardless of their gender.

Men’s Addiction Treatment

Men’s addiction treatment should be highly individualized. That’s because drug addiction affects every individual differently. But, a National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that the chances of men abusing hallucinogens, marijuana, and cocaine were higher than those of women. As such, treatment should be personalized to address the specific addiction that a man is suffering from.

Both males and females find the decision to seek addiction rehabilitation quite challenging. The chances of opting to undergo treatment because of career and family responsibility are higher for males than females. The willingness of men to seek help is also lower. That’s because they might be unwilling to admit that they are emotionally weak.

Nevertheless, the willingness of men to undergo treatment when mandated by family, employer or court is higher. A criminal justice unit is likely to refer males to treatment via a provider of mental health solutions than females. That’s because abusing alcohol or drugs increases the risk of involvement in drunk driving, violent crimes, and property damage among males.

Societal expectations, as well as, public perception fears can make males think that they do not require treatment. However, there are types of AA meetings and treatment programs designed for males only. Such programs and meetings take a customized approach to the treatment of every individual.

Men are generally unwilling to discuss emotions when attending group therapies. But, they’re likely to open up during support group meetings that involve similar peers. Men cope with aggression and anger more effectively when behavioral therapy is used. They also find health stress relief outlets.

Overall, detox services, individual and group therapy, behavioral therapy, and counseling are common methods used to treat addiction in males. However, the most effective treatment methods take an individualized approach. They are designed and focused on resolving problems that may have led to substance abuse, as well as, those arising from addiction.

Final Thoughts

Addiction affects men’s health differently from women’s. It also affects their lives differently. When attending AA meetings USA, some men say they were hesitant to seek help due to the fear of the negative perception that people have towards addiction treatment. Others fear losing their jobs or stigmatization at their workplaces. Consequently, some males keep suffering in silence. Others opt to go for outpatient treatment which might not be ideal for them. These are some of the issues that should be ignored when it comes to men’s health and addiction. An addiction treatment program for men is more effective when it captures such issues.


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