The media is chock full of images of men with addiction abusing their children, berating their partners, and engaging in violent and even illegal behaviors. Of course, addiction can and does make people violent, and data suggests that more than half of the prison population, most of whom are male, have a demonstrated drug or alcohol addiction. Popular media portrayals often neglect that addiction is a disease borne of intense emotional suffering. In a world where men are too often encouraged to suppress their feelings, ignore their needs, and grin and bear even the worst pain, it is no wonder that men outnumber women in addiction treatment centers four to one. To make a change, more men need to feel comfortable seeking the help of drug rehab and alcohol treatment for men.
Northpoint Recovery is a state-of-the-art, comfortable, and modern inpatient detox and drug rehab facility designed to help our patients get the help they need to overcome addiction.
The Need for Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment for Men
Addiction causes intense pain to everyone it touches, and when people are in pain, they often look for someone to blame. Consequently, many people still believe that addiction is a personal choice. But addiction is a disease virtually indistinguishable from disorders such as cancer and diabetes. A near-avalanche of research shows that the brains and bodies of people with addiction are fundamentally different. Abusing drugs or alcohol changes the way your brain functions, making it easier to abuse than it is to abstain. Unfortunately, addiction coupled with gender socialization teaches men not to feel can discourage suffering men from seeking treatment.
The most significant predictor of addiction is the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol, so if you want to protect yourself from the scourge of addiction, avoid using addictive substances. However, some factors appear to increase men’s risk of becoming addicted. These risk factors include:
- A history of mental illness – Men are especially likely to attempt to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol or drown their sorrows in substances rather than seeking therapy.
- A family history of addiction – A complex cocktail of genes, early learning, and childhood stress can all conspire toward addiction.
- A history of abuse or trauma
- Life stress – Men are more likely to begin using drugs or alcohol when they face pressures on the job or at home. Some men even turn to drugs or alcohol to become more productive, such as when a lawyer abuses stimulants to stay up later and work more quickly.
- A history of physical illness – Potentially addictive pain pills can lead to addiction. People with health problems may also abuse drugs or alcohol to cope with ongoing pain.
- A previous history of being an addict – Addiction is a disease, which means that once you become addicted, you are much more likely to develop another addiction. Some people even replace one addiction with another, a process known as cross-addiction. For instance, you might replace alcohol with another depressant, such as opioid pain relievers.
- The drugs you abuse – Some drugs are more addictive than others. Alcohol, for instance, takes much less time to become addicted to than marijuana.
Is Addiction Different for Men?
Many men face intense pressure to be strong breadwinners, athletes, and tough guys who defend their families at all costs. Changes in gender roles mean that men are now expected to be good fathers and husbands, share their emotions, and do their fair share around the home. For many men, these expectations feel conflicted. After all, it is hard to be emotionally available while also constantly putting on a facade of toughness.
While many risk factors for abuse are the same for both men and women, some of the pressures men face include:
- Demands that they are physically tough at all times
- Pressure to conceal their emotions
- Increasing demands on their time
- Larger body size, meaning they can use larger quantities of drugs or alcohol before feeling high or drunk
Some men attempt to manage these pressures by turning to alcohol or drugs. Others rely on alcohol and drugs to help them live up to their roles. For instance, a doctor might start abusing sleeping pills to sleep well at night to be a happy and loving father in the morning.
How Addiction Affects Men’s Relationships
Substance abuse affects men’s relationships in uniquely catastrophic ways. According to the Department of Justice, more than 75% of violent offenders are male, and more than half of violent offenses involve drugs or alcohol. Of course, when you struggle with addiction, you will do anything to deny that your addiction harms others. But consider the myriad ways addiction ruins men’s relationships and even turns them into criminals:
- Alcohol can increase your odds of sexual violence. More than 90% of acquaintance rapes involve alcohol.
- About 15% of men report physically abusing a romantic partner while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- More than half of alcoholics have physically or psychologically abused their children.
- About a quarter of addicts admit stealing to get access to their drug of choice.
Addiction steadily erodes trust while compromising your judgment. It can make cheating on your spouse seem like a good idea, cause you to avoid seeking help for mental health issues, and even destroy your relationship with your children. If you want to fight back against the rigid box our society tries to put men into, then you need to kick the habit now.
Drug Addiction Treatment: The Addiction-Mental Health Connection
About half of people with addiction have a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety. These conditions compound the struggles of addiction in many ways:
- Being mentally ill is extraordinarily challenging, particularly in a society where men are expected to be strong and emotion-free at all times. Thus you may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope.
- Mental illness undermines your judgment, making you more likely to try addictive substances in the first place.
- Prolonged substance abuse can change your brain and body, actually causing mental illness in the process.
- The medications that can treat mental illness are potentially addictive in their own right. If you are not careful, you can become accidentally addicted to prescription drugs.
The first step toward treating mental illness is recognizing that you have a mental health condition. If you have an addiction and a mental illness, you will likely need residential treatment to recover. Drug or alcohol rehab offers comprehensive treatment in a safe setting, but you first must know what you are dealing with. Some common mental illnesses include:
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Eating disorders
If you feel like your emotions are out of control or your family has expressed concern, seek help from a men’s rehab in Idaho.
Do You Need Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment for Men?
Perhaps one of the scariest things about addiction is that it means you cannot trust your judgment. Alcohol and drugs compromise your ability to think clearly, and addiction attempts to sustain itself by making you think you are not addicted. Your denial will not protect you or your loved ones, though, and the first step toward getting better is admitting you have a problem.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you conceal evidence of drug or alcohol abuse or lie to others or yourself about your substance use?
- Do you lie to your doctor or engage in doctor shopping to get drugs?
- Does addiction run in your family?
- Do you structure your day according to when you will next be able to use alcohol or drugs?
- Have loved ones asked you to seek help or expressed concern about your substance use?
- Do you have drug or alcohol-related health problems?
- Do you experience psychological or physical withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to quit drugs or alcohol?
- Do you feel abnormal or unlike yourself when you cannot use drugs or alcohol?
Addiction is a progressive illness that does not get better with time or go away on its own. If you need help with drug or alcohol dependence, reach out to a men’s rehab program in Boise, Idaho.
Find the Men’s Rehab in Boise, Idaho You Need at Northpoint Idaho
The admissions coordinators at Northpoint Idaho are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They will verify your insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and ensure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free. Contact us at 208.486.0130 to start healing with help from our men’s rehab program in Boise, Idaho.