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Addiction: The Experiences of Men vs. Women

People sitting in a circle and discussing addiction in men vs. women

The experience of addiction in men vs. women is markedly different. How do men and women experience addiction differently? Men struggling with addiction often feel that their problem reflects weakness or lack of control. Women struggling with addiction often feel like they have no choice and that their addiction is a symptom of a more significant problem. Call 888.296.8976 to speak with someone from Northpoint Recovery about addiction in women vs. men and our women’s rehab program in Idaho.

About Addiction in Men

Research has shown that drug and alcohol addiction is more prevalent in men than women. In general, men tend to fare better with using drugs and alcohol than women do. Their bodies are designed to allow for the consumption of more substances at one time, and they can generally manage their addictions longer than women. Because men have more water in their bodies and higher metabolic rates than women, men can often consume more alcohol and drugs than women, with fewer immediate physical effects.

Men also experience fewer long-term physical symptoms related to drug and alcohol addictions. Even so, studies have shown that the consequences of their drug and alcohol use remain relatively similar for both genders. As far as taking steps to seek treatment for their addictions, most men find it easier to get help than women do. This might be for a variety of reasons, but in general:

  • Men don’t concern themselves with the costs of getting treatment
  • Finding childcare is usually not one of their deciding factors
  • There isn’t a stigma attached to men who are recovering from addiction

They may also have friends and family who have recovered from addiction, which can help ease any problematic transitions.

About Addiction in Women

Women quickly become addicted to drugs or alcohol, and their progression into chemical dependency is often very fast. Even so, women manage their addictions a little easier than men do. At times, women may be less likely to struggle with addiction, probably because of their other commitments and priorities.

Women who do become addicted to drugs or alcohol often cite reasons like using substances as a way to cope with emotional issues or trauma they have faced in the past. Relationship problems, childhood physical, verbal or sexual abuse, and stress all play a significant role in the lives of women struggling with addiction.

Regarding the physical aspect of addiction, women are more likely than men to use substances for weight management. More women smoke because nicotine helps keep their weight down. The same is true for cocaine and amphetamine addictions. In addition, women tend to be more sensitive to the effects of drugs and alcohol for biological reasons. It is possible that because of their increased sensitivity, women also tend to experience the consequences of addiction earlier in their lives.

Addiction carries a significant social stigma for women, which is one reason it may be difficult for them to seek treatment. Women also have additional responsibilities in the home, making it harder for them to justify getting the treatment they need.

About Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment

Regardless of gender, addiction is a severe disease that affects all people. When it comes to treatment, however, men and women might benefit from different types of programs. Gender-specific addiction treatment helps men and women identify their unique needs in recovery and address them using the correct approach.

For example, male-only or female-only addiction treatment programs provide a safe and secure environment for men or women to work through their addictions. Professionals in these programs can address gender-related issues that men or women might not feel comfortable discussing in mixed-gender groups.

Find Addiction Treatment for Men or Women in Idaho at Northpoint Recovery

Contact Northpoint Recovery today at 888.296.8976 to learn more about addiction in men vs. women, how men and women experience addiction differently, and how our caring and compassionate team in Idaho can help.