It has been observed that men are more likely to use drugs and that too at a younger age as compared to women. Rate of substance dependence in men is almost twice as that in women, with them being at a higher risk of suffering an opioid overdose. According to reports, out of the 47,600 cases of overdose-related to opioids in 2017, nearly 31,700 were men. Considering such statistics, it becomes important to talk about the frequency of drug abuse and substance use disorders (SUD) in men.
This variance between the two genders holds true for both – alcohol and drugs. For example, it has been noted that in the case of illicit drugs, the use of marijuana is higher in males and so is the prevalence of cannabis use disorders. Similarly, in the case of alcohol, rates of alcohol-related deaths are more in men because they are more likely to consume larger quantities of alcohol as compared to women.
Substance use disorders and mental health interconnected
Though the exact cause of SUD has not been discovered yet, it has been attributed to certain factors such as genetics, emotional factors like anxiety, depression, and external factors including growing up in an environment of drug use, etc. Out of many factors, the risk of developing an SUD due to trauma is higher in men as compared to women. Negative childhood experiences such as physical or sexual abuse as well as other traumatic events such as parent’s divorce etc. before the age of 18 are also likely to cause an SUD. Studies have suggested that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a likely contributor to the progression of SUD and often co-occurs with SUD.
According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) report, around 47.6 million Americans above the age of 18 suffered from a form of mental illness. In addition to mental health disorders, suicides amongst people with SUD is also on a rise. Official data from 2014 showed that out of the total suicidal deaths for that year, 40 percent were due to alcohol use disorder whereas 30 percent were due to opioid use. What is more worrisome is that the number of suicides in men is nearly 4 times higher as compared to women.
Steps to counter SUD
After analyzing the data related to SUD and mental illness in men, experts advised that proper treatment for mental illnesses can prove to be effective in treating SUDs as well; provided that misdiagnosis of co-occurring disorders does not happen. Often a wrong diagnosis leads to inappropriate treatment programs, aggravating an existing problem.
Further, health care providers and systems should focus on proper identification of SUDs and treatment programs involving behavioral therapies like cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) increasing the chances of long-term recovery.
A comprehensive drug addiction treatment program involves a combination of detoxification process along with therapy and counselling sessions. While detox helps in flushing out the toxins from the body, therapy helps the patient to learn various coping mechanism to deal with daily life issues without being dependent on drugs
If you or a loved one is battling an addiction and is looking for a reliable residential drug and alcohol addiction treatment center, get in touch with the Texas Substance Abuse Helpline. Call our 24/7 Texas substance abuse helpline 866-971-2658 to talk with an admission counselor. We offer information about comprehensive evidence-based treatment plans for patients dealing with substance abuse issues.
You can also chat online with our experts available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at our drug addiction help online. They would be happy to guide you with drug addiction help and suggest various substance abuse treatment centers available to set you on the path of sobriety.