Why Do Men Struggle with Addiction?

Trauma can do real harm to the body and mind. The spirit is also impacted by trauma that rips a hole in a person’s soul from the time it happens all the way into other journeys in life. Men who experience childhood trauma are especially susceptible to sweep things under a rug and be seen as blowing things out of proportion if they become a whistleblower. Men often wrestle with addiction as a means of coping with the stress of past trauma. Find out why men wrestle with addiction and how to seek help for the challenges it brings.

Childhood Trauma and Men

Opiate addiction, drugs, and alcohol use can be a result of trauma that has not healed. Trauma-informed care is one way treatment programs are offering support for men in recovery. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are divided into three categories: abuse, neglect, and childhood challenges. The ten types of experiences can signify points at which men may experience trauma as children. Some of them include:

  • Being insulted or humiliated by a parent
  • Pushing, slapping, or violent behavior towards the child
  • Inappropriate sexual contact by anyone in or outside the family
  • Feeling unprotected by the family
  • Living or experiencing the trauma of seeing family struggle with mental health issues or drug abuse

Those who experience alcoholism or addiction may have gone through at least 3 of the above experiences (or more). Many children who experience them are not aware as adults this is what is causing their substance abuse issues since addiction can often start in the early teens.

Honesty is the Best Policy

Men who experience trauma in childhood and suffer from addiction typically do not share openly and honestly. Vulnerability was not accepted as a child and does not feel safe now. Trauma contributes to addiction for men as a coping mechanism. Men minimize the trauma they experienced and try to ‘man up’ and not deal with it by drinking or becoming violent. Men face an increased chance of addiction if they do not receive help for their past trauma, thus repeating cycles of violence, oppression, and addiction. The key is to disrupt the cycle of addiction and violence by treating the person’s underlying issues. It is important to report past adverse experiences openly and honestly. It is a good idea to stop minimizing past events in life to cope with recovery now to the fullest extent possible. When you are fully present to the realities of the past (in treatment), you can do it in a safe space that allows you room to explore it without worrying about daily obligations and find help from trained therapists who get what you are going through. Covering it up will only feed the addiction. Seeking help will give you a chance at a better life and hope for better days ahead, free of substances.

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: 512-750-6750.