Do Men and Women Suffer Addiction Differently?
After checking out drug rehab facilities, you may have started wondering whether men and women suffer addiction differently. You may have even noticed that there were more men than women, or women than men, in particular facilities. So, do they suffer addiction differently? Read on to find out.
What the Studies Showed (and Show)
For several years, bordering on decades, addiction research only tapped into how addictions affected men. They were the only study participants in most studies, which means the results of those studies may have been medically biased towards men.
However, by the time the 1990s rolled around, the testing requirements were changing. Many United States organisations even demanded that women be included as study participants. After all, they, too, could become addicts of various substances.
Since men and women both became included in studies, researchers discovered some quite interesting things. Firstly, they found that men were more likely to abuse alcohol and illicit drugs. In those studies, 11.5 percent of men over the age of 12 use drugs. Only 6.4% of females did.
In saying that, women were more likely to require emergency room care or overdose from their substance abuse.
Drug Addiction Susceptibility
Regarding addiction susceptibility, both men and women have their own burdens to bear, according to research carried out at Harvard Medical School.
Men are more likely than women to become addicts and are also more likely to abuse various substances to become part of a group or due to peer pressure.
Women, on the other hand, go from being a substance abuser to a substance addict far quicker than males. They are also more likely than men to use illicit substances to self-medicate.
Girls from ages 12 to 17 are even more likely to abuse stimulants and prescription opioids than boys of the same age.
Drug Addiction Recovery
In the same research conducted at Harvard Medical School, men are more likely to suffer from intense alcohol withdrawal symptoms than women. They will also stabilise their substance abuse at lower doses than women, too.
While men’s withdrawal symptoms can often be more severe, the effects of substance abuse can be more frequent and severe in women. Overdose and liver damage, just to name a couple, tend to affect women more.
Drug Addiction Relapse Risk
A drug rehab facility can undoubtedly decrease the risk of relapse, but it can’t entirely eradicate it. Women are more likely than men to experience intense cravings, which can then lead to relapse. Men are less likely to relapse and can go for more extended periods of abstinence.
From this information alone, it’s evident that men and women can experience and suffer addiction differently. Men may be more likely to become addicts, but women can often have a more challenging time dealing with long-term health effects and relapse. Whatever your situation, it’s essential to seek help. Make an appointment with a medical professional and consider whether a drug rehab facility or programme is the right move for you.