Addiction Treatment

Does Addiction Affect Men and Women Differently?

Written By:

Becky Babb

Does Addiction Affect Men and Women Differently?

    While addiction affects us all in devastating ways, requiring serious treatment attention and counseling to overcome, several clinics and studies are starting to notice that addiction affects men and women a bit differently. Understanding these differences is key to providing appropriate recovery support to both genders.For starters, the physiology of drug use differs from men to women based on a few obvious factors like body mass and hormone differences. Generally speaking, men have more body mass and muscle tissue than women and therefore have a higher tolerance to the same dose than a woman of smaller size. A lower body mass means that a drug dose will overwhelm the body’s cell structure quicker and more easily than someone with a larger body mass.Then there is the hormone factor. The sexes are very different in the hormone department, with men benefiting primarily from testosterone and women benefiting from estrogen. However, the estrogen hormone has been shown in recent studies to give women a stronger sensitivity to drug effects. These studies suggest that estrogen tends to awaken drug receptors in the brain and make the subject more aware of the reward centers associated with being high. This means that women tend to get a stronger high from most drugs and also run a higher risk of addiction to this high.Aside from the biology and physiology of actual drug use, the nature of addiction affects us differently based on the cultural and social roles we fill. While women tend to be at higher risk for drug addiction, men seem more prone to try drugs based on a higher socially-encouraged risk-taking threshold. Men are typically the more common drug abusers and addicts for this reason alone. However, when struggling with addiction, men are less likely to ask for help.Men are culturally encouraged to keep their thoughts, feelings, and struggles to themselves and to solve problems on their own, while women have a bit more leniency to ask for help without the social stigmas of weakness attached. This is a dangerous and precarious situation. Men may benefit from a higher tolerance to drug use but they are more likely to indulge and less likely to ask for help when there’s a problem. The result is a whole lot of guys out there who are struggling with addiction but afraid to say anything or seek the medical attention and recovery assistance they need to get back on their feet.At The Last Resort, we understand the unique needs of men who struggle with addiction and work to provide a safe, secure, and effective environment for treating and overcoming substance addiction. Addiction affects us all and it’s important to reach out for the resources you need to solve the problem when it arises in your life. Don’t succumb to the pressures of the world around you by hiding in your pride or shame. Instead, let us give you the helping hand in a discrete and dignified manner.

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