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Explore The Gender Differences In Substance Use Disorders

April 29, 2024

All people with substance use disorders (SUDs) feel compelled to consume mind-altering substances like alcohol or drugs. This mental disorder is found in both men and women, but will the two genders go through SUDs differently? The latest research indicates “Yes.”

Being aware of the gender differences in substance use disorders can help you understand when a loved one -- female or male -- needs addiction treatment. It also helps addiction treatment centers, like Evolve Recovery Center, know how to treat patients. If you haven’t thought about how SUD affects women and men before, consider the following information.

Do Both Genders Have The Same SUD Symptoms?

Women and men typically display the same symptoms of SUD. These include:

  • Feeling urges to consume an addictive substance every day or multiple times a day
  • Experiencing acute urges to use that take you away from other pastimes or obligations
  • Depending on bigger quantities of a substance to experience the same effect
  • Losing control over the amount and frequency you use
  • Spending more money than you can afford on alcohol or drugs
  • Prioritizing acquiring substances over other commitments
  • Failing to fulfill commitments due to substance use
  • Withdrawing from people close to you and social interactions in order to use
  • Continuing to consume the substance even when you are aware it’s creating problems
  • Engaging in dangerous or illicit activities to attain or consume the substance
  • Experiencing withdrawal if you attempt to halt use
  • Failing in any bid to cease using

However, dependency-causing substances impact female individuals at a quicker rate, so a substance use disorder progresses quicker in women. Women, consequently, are more prone to suffer acute symptoms before getting support.

What Are A Few Notable Differences In Substance Use Disorders Between Women And Men?

According to recent research about substance use, men experience an SUD differently than women. For example:

  • Men are more prone to take illegal drugs or misuse prescribed medications.
  • Women are more prone to misuse prescribed opioid painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs, and sleep aids.
  • Men have elevated rates of dependence for alcohol and drugs.
  • Death rates in women with alcohol use disorders are 50 to 100 percent higher than men.
  • Women and men are equally likely to develop a substance use disorder.

Even though men are more prone to consume illegal substances, women are more apt to misuse prescriptions. This could be attributed to the fact that women are more inclined to find treatment for pain, anxiety, and sleep disorders. And while more men take dependency-causing drugs and alcohol generally speaking, female physiology puts women at an elevated risk for deadly diseases caused by substance use. But it’s critical to realize that everyone who uses addictive drugs or alcohol has an equal chance of developing an SUD, and any SUD may be devastating or even deadly.

Do Men And Women Pursue Addiction Treatment At The Same Rate?

One significant gender difference in substance use disorders deals with treatment. More men pursue addiction support than women. Women are typically the chief caregivers and might not have an individual to look after their family members if they begin treatment. They might be afraid of losing their young ones if they divulge their substance use disorder. Men are not as likely to have caregiving responsibilities that prevent them from pursuing residential care services.

When they begin treatment, enduring recovery is challenging for all. Despite this fact, men have a higher probability of reaching it because they are not as likely to relapse. Women relapse at higher rates since they are more probable to have a severe SUD or co-occurring disorders that inhibit recovery. They could also have difficulty finding addiction facilities that tailor treatment to their specific requirements.

These details should not dissuade anyone from finding treatment. Knowing these insights helps addiction treatments facilities, loved ones, and society as a whole gain a better understanding how to assist those working through SUDs. If you need help getting past substance addiction, call a local, respected treatment provider ASAP.

Discover Treatment That Understands Gender And Addiction

Women and men have differing needs over the course of SUD treatment. Evolve Recovery Center always personalizes our support to your exact situation. If you are searching for a welcoming place to stay and work toward addiction recovery, dial us at 888-369-7727 or complete the contact form below. We respond right away, day or night. Place the call now; we’re here to help.