Key Facts about Men and Addiction



According to recent research, addiction affects both men and women, but each in different ways. Sex-based differences (biological, psychological, and social) regarding substance misuse impact which drugs are used, how often, for how long, and the frequency of overdose. Men seem to show increased tendencies and more fatal outcomes in all cases. Awareness surrounding the impacts of addiction on the male populace is vital as the country continues to battle against the opioid epidemic and record-breaking overdose deaths.


Men are more likely to start experimenting with substances at a younger age.

The adage "boys will be boys" was once used to rationalize how many young men were exposed to risky behaviors and situations early in life. This often leads to experimentation with drugs and alcohol at a much younger age than girls. With easy access to these substances, boys are much more likely to develop substance use disorders later in life.


Men are more likely to use illicit drugs.

A 2016 NSDUH survey shows that 52.3% of male respondents 12 years of age or older claim to have used an illicit drug during their lifetime. 48% reported having used marijuana, 18.7% hallucinogens, followed by 17.9% cocaine, 11.6% inhalants, 6.5% methamphetamine, and 2.5% using heroin.


Men are more likely to be hospitalized and die from an overdose.

Reports show that men who misuse illicit substances have a higher rate of emergency room visits and fatal overdoses. The increased frequency of overdose can be connected to many factors, including a greater propensity for risk-taking, overestimating the body's ability to withstand potent substances, deaths of despair involving drugs and alcohol, and much more.


Men are less likely to ask for help for their addiction and more likely to suffer from stigma.

It's not uncommon for men's emotional and mental struggles to be minimized by society, and many feel that their only option is to "man up" when they're having trouble. This can cause men struggling with substance misuse to conceal their issues and shy away from assistance. Due to these factors, they're also more likely to suffer socially and financially, often losing employment and dealing with strained relationships with loved ones.


Men are more likely to experience co-occurring mental illness and addiction.

Because men reach out for help at a lower rate than women when they're struggling, some turn to substance misuse to cope. Many men have untreated mental illnesses such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other related conditions they may be ashamed to confront with their medical providers or loved ones. Self-medicating with drugs and alcohol is not uncommon in these cases and can quickly lead to a spiral of addiction.


Recover Services of New Mexico outpatient centers understand that asking for help can be difficult. However, there is no better time to seek treatment for substance use disorder, and RSONM makes the process simple and affordable for all. Each clinic's specialized medical and nursing staff is committed to maintaining a judgment-free atmosphere where every patient is treated with dignity and respect. To learn more about the recovery programs available, message or call a local RSONM today.