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Explore The Gender Differences In Substance Use Disorders

April 26, 2024

Individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs) have urges to use mind-altering substances like drugs and alcohol. These mental disorders impact both women and men, but are there differences in how the two genders undergo SUDs? The latest research indicates “Yes.”

Being aware of the gender differences in substance use disorders can help you figure out when someone you care about -- female or male -- needs addiction treatment. It also helps addiction treatment facilities, like Sunrise Detox Center, know how to treat patients. If you haven’t thought about how substance use disorders impact men and women before, take a look at the following information.

Do Both Genders Have The Same SUD Symptoms?

Both genders generally display the same symptoms of SUD. These include:

  • Feeling compelled to consume an addictive substance daily or multiple times a day
  • Experiencing intense compulsions to use that take you away from other activities and needs
  • Requiring larger amounts of a substance to experience the desired effect
  • Being unable to control how much or how often you use
  • Spending more than you can afford on alcohol or drugs
  • Making a priority of acquiring more of a substance over other obligations
  • Not fulfilling commitments due to drug or alcohol use
  • Withdrawing from family and social situations so you may use
  • Continuing to take the substance even though you see it’s causing you problems
  • Partaking in risky or illegal endeavors to find or take the substance
  • Experiencing withdrawal if you make an effort to stop using a substance
  • Failing in any bid to stop using

But, dependency-causing substances influence females at a quicker rate, so a substance use disorder advances in less time in women. Women, therefore, are more inclined to encounter severe symptoms before inquiring about support.

What Are The Noteworthy Differences In Substance Use Disorders Between Men And Women?

Per current research about substance use, men will experience drug or alcohol use disorders in a different manner than women. To illustrate:

  • Men are more prone to take street drugs or misuse prescription drugs.
  • Women are more likely to misuse prescribed opioid painkillers, anti-anxiety medications, and sleeping pills.
  • Men have increased dependency rates for drugs and alcohol.
  • Death rates for women with alcohol use disorders are 50 to 100 percent higher than men.
  • Men and women are just as likely to have a substance use disorder.

Although men are more apt to use illicit substances, women are more prone to misuse prescription drugs. This could be because women are more willing to find treatment for pain, sleep disorders, and anxiety. And even though more men use habit-forming drugs and alcohol generally speaking, female anatomy puts women at an elevated risk for dangerous diseases prompted by substance use. But it’s critical to remember that everyone who ingests habit-forming alcohol or drugs has the same chance of encountering an SUD, and any SUD may be destructive or even deadly.

Do Men And Women Search For Addiction Treatment At The Same Rate?

One notable gender difference in substance use disorders deals with treatment. More men seek addiction care than women. Women are typically main caregivers and might not have someone to look after their families if they enter treatment. They might fear losing their children if they divulge their substance use disorder. Men are not as likely to have caregiving obligations that prevent them from pursuing residential care.

After they seek treatment, long-term recovery is difficult for everyone. Despite this fact, men have a higher probability of attaining it as they are less likely to relapse. Women relapse at higher rates since they are more inclined to have an intense addiction or co-occurring disorders that block recovery. They may also have trouble finding addiction facilities that tailor treatment to their exact needs.

This discussion should not discourage any person from seeking treatment. Understanding these facts helps addiction treatment centers, family members, and society in general gain a better understanding how to aid those dealing with SUDs. If you need assistance recovering from substance addiction, call a local, trusted treatment center ASAP.

Get Treatment That Understands Gender And Addiction

Men and women have different needs during SUD treatment. Sunrise Detox Center always customizes our support to your exact situation. If you are looking for a welcoming environment to stay and progress toward addiction recovery, call us at 888-443-3869 or fill out the contact form below. We respond right away, at all hours. Get in touch now; we’re ready to help.