Men and women alike often find themselves facing a battle with drug or alcohol addiction. While they may show many of the same behaviors or make similar choices, there are actually several differences between how the two genders experience addiction. These include the type of substance use, the likelihood of a relapse, how they respond to treatment and even the risk of addiction happening in the first place. They often have different mental struggles surrounding their addiction as well.

Men are more likely to seek treatment for drug or alcohol addiction than women are, likely because they face fewer social or economic obstacles to their recovery. Men are also more inclined to get help at a specialized treatment facility, whereas women prefer to go first to a primary care physician. Men also tend to benefit more from a group therapy session, where the camaraderie is often a much needed morale boost.

Men are two to three times more likely to develop a drug use or serious dependence problem than women are among adults, but men most commonly abuse alcohol or marijuana than sedatives or sleeping medication. Alcohol is the most common reason men seek treatment for a substance addiction in the United States.

Men who partake in risky behavior increase their risk of experimenting with drugs or alcohol, which can set them on the path to addiction. Men who have been taught to downplay or hide emotions, or even solve problems without asking for help are usually at a greater risk for becoming addicted simply because it’s been drilled into their head that they don’t need help, even if they do. Hiding an addiction makes treatment and healthy recovery more difficult the longer it takes to get help.

Men and women have hormonal differences that change how the drugs are absorbed in the body, and in some cases, protects the individual to a degree. Men’s hearts are less sensitive to the side effects of cocaine, but they also have blood flow issues to the frontal lobe of the brain after use, something not often seen in women.

There are a surprising number of ways that addiction is different for men. It’s important to understand what makes addiction difficult for yourself or a loved one in order to help get them the right treatment to get them on the road to recovery.


At The Springboard Center, we know that you and your family need a treatment provider you can trust. Incorporating the best of practices we have created a meaningful program to restore health and dignity with quality care and counseling. Call us today for information on how we are serving the Permian Basin: (432) 620-0255