This is Why Addiction Affects Men and Women Differently
Addiction in Men vs Women
From the day we are born there is a clear biological difference between men and women. So, it should come as no surprise that addiction affects these two sexes in vastly different ways. Alcohol and drugs impact each sex differently. As does the fall into addiction. Even the recovery process consists of differences for men and women. The more research that goes into understanding these differences will help create a better path to recovery for both sexes.
How Drugs and Alcohol Affect Men and Women Differently
On average, men are physically larger than women. Due to their bigger size, men metabolize substances at a faster rate than women. This means that men need a larger quantity of a substance in order to get the same length of the effect it gives women. However, women are more likely to be in danger of alcohol poisoning or a drug overdose by trying to do as much as men.
A woman's smaller size is susceptible to more damage when taking the same amount of drugs and alcohol as men. Moreover, men have more control over the effects drugs and alcohol have on them compared to women. This is mainly because drugs and alcohol cause different effects depending on a woman’s menstrual cycle. The experience of drugs and alcohol are different for men and women making it necessary to have different forms of treatment.
How Addiction Affects Men and Women Differently
A large percentage of women fuel their addiction to forget the pain of past traumas. In contrast, men fall into addiction due to the frequent use of drugs and alcohol in social situations. This is usually so men come off more powerful to their peers. Women spiral into addiction at a faster rate than men whose addiction grows over time. Yet, in the short time it takes women to fall into addiction they suffer an equal amount of damage to men with a longer lasting addiction.
Women are more likely to get addicted to sedatives and other drugs that help with anxiety and sleep. However, men are more likely to get addicted to alcohol and party drugs as their addiction tends to manifest in social situations. Men are also more likely to abuse drugs at a younger age than women. Research the from National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) indicates that males use drugs at an earlier age because they have easier access to it. In turn, a majority of women are introduced to drugs by men. So, addiction may hit men and women in different ways but drugs and alcohol do an equal amount of damage on both sexes.
Differences in the Road to Recovery
There are many barriers men and women face when trying to get help, but women are less likely to seek help for their substance abuse problem. This is largely due to a stigma against women addicts who should have been more responsible especially when they have children and a family to take care of. In addition to this many recovery programs are geared towards men. Results of a study by the Journal of Substance Abuse found that a recovery program designed for men was unsuitable for women. The biological differences in men and women call for different forms of treatment. As can be seen in the big role the menstrual cycle plays in a woman’s addiction. Women that try to stop using a substance show different results depending on where they are in their menstrual cycle.
Men and women are equally likely to stay in recovery once they enter. However, once in a program women seem to have a slightly easier time with recovery and a shorter relapse period. Women seem to have an easier time because they often enter a program willing whereas men enter a program when it’s court ordered or they’re forced into it. No matter how they entered, men and women react differently to recovery.
Getting the Right Help for Men and Women
While men and women share similarities in addiction and recovery there are still differences that require unique forms of recovery. Meridian Treatment takes care of this issue with recovery programs based on an individual’s needs. Each program is designed to produce the most successful road to recovery for an individual. Create real change in your life by contacting a recovery coach today.