Men struggle with addiction on a different level than women. Their bodies respond differently, the brains react differently, and, overall, they respond differently to how they navigate asking for help. Alcoholism does not discriminate against men or women, but men tend to have higher rates of alcoholism than women in some studies. Men have been found to release more dopamine than women when they drink, which results in feeling more pleasure that drives addiction. Find out how and why men struggle with alcoholism and whether they actually do struggle more than women.
How Men Respond
Alcohol can have negative consequences for both men and women, depending on the situation, how much they drink, and for how long. Excessive alcohol use can have long-term health consequences that differ in men than women, including:
- Liver disorders or disease as a result of alcohol consumption
- Dementia, stroke, and neuropathy issues
- Riskier behavior like drunk driving, unsafe sex, or internalized stress that leads to health consequences
- Heart and cardiovascular issues like atrial fibrillation and hypertension from alcoholism
Women typically have less body mass and water than men. Body water diffuses alcohol as it is digested. Women may become more impaired easily, but they are also able to process it in their bodies in a different way once it is broken down. This plays a role in the long- and short-term effects of alcohol on women. Women who consume alcohol are more at risk for cancer. Excessive drinking can also cause digestive-tract cancer in women at higher rates than with men. Men are more likely to binge drink or drink more in one sitting than women, though that trend is changing.
Mental health wise, men are more likely to experience depression and anxiety symptoms while drinking, or as a result of drinking, and need help from loved ones who understand and are able to offer support. The biggest challenge is figuring out how to get men to talk more openly about the challenges they face. The stigma for men around drinking, or that it is socially acceptable to drink, can keep them from seeking help for addiction. They may be afraid of losing their job or colleagues if they cannot drink with them any longer. The key is to notice where they are struggling and see how best to support their journey of healing.
The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Nature is an important component of recovery and healing. We strive to provide a place of enrichment that cultivates the inner as well as the outer journey of recovery. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Call us to find out more: 877-322-2643.