Watching a loved one struggle with alcohol and drug use is difficult, but it is important to know that there are some significant gender differences in addiction recovery. Men and women have substance use for different reasons and their substance choices are different. Gender differences in addiction recovery are relevant to the factors that play a role in substance use and the reasons men and women have for seeking alcohol and drug treatment programs.
Studies conducted by Columbia University revealed that while drug use by women is at a lower dose, women are more likely to develop a substance use problem and more likely to feel shame because of it, than are men. A large number of women who use drugs reportedly suffered a traumatic event, such as sexual abuse and turned to drugs because they believed it would get them through such a traumatic experience.
Further, the reasons that women gave for drug and alcohol use were social and psychological and included depression, a lack of a support system, low self confidence, low self esteem, stress and loneliness. Oxycontin and vicodin, cocaine and heroin, ecstasy, marijuana and alcohol are the substances that are most used by women with excessive use.
There seems to be more of a social stigma attached to women who seek addiction recovery. Women who seek assistance are considered to be weak or morally deficient and as a result women are hesitant to seek addiction recovery.
Men, on the other hand, use drugs and alcohol for different reasons. Socially, men are more open to drug experimentation than women, with men using for the sole purpose of getting high or intoxicated. Physiologically, men experience sensation from cocaine more intensely and at a faster rate than women.
Gender differences in addiction recovery are also experienced in the reasons for seeking substance use assistance with the majority of the differences based on stereotype. As stated in the Columbia study, women suffer more social obstacles that hinder them from getting the help that they need. Instead of seeking drug or alcohol specific assistance, women are more likely to seek help from mental health programs. Be that as it may, women are more likely to seek some type of assistance before men. Both addiction treatment programs and mental health programs have been proven ineffective of helping either sex overcome substance use issues.
When it comes down to getting help for substance use gender differences in addiction recovery programs do not matter. Men and women should not be separated like some treatment programs would suggest they be because it's best to integrate and socialize with all types of human beings regardless of sex, age, or creed while enrolled in a program. This ensures that neither sex is being isolated from the outside world and any circumstances they may inevitably run into in the future.
Both women and men can overcome a substance use issue without ever needing a recovery, if they are in the right program to start with. For a truly different approach to solving a drug or alcohol problem, call the Freedom Model Program to begin changing your life.