Drug Abuse in Men: Reasons, Signs, and Treatment

Drug Abuse in Men: Reasons, Signs, and Treatment

While both men and women suffer from drug addiction, the reality is that men tend to suffer at a rate much higher than women. The result is in this country, we are seeing an epidemic of men with drug addictions.

Why are the Numbers So High?

To really understand the impact of addiction on men, it’s important to look at the statistics. Data put out by the Substance Abuse And Mental Health Administration reported that roughly 67% of all substance abuse admissions in the United States are male. It should also be noted that these numbers hold up, regardless of age, sexual preference, or ethnic group.

But why are these numbers so disproportionately high? One explanation might be that men naturally partake in riskier behaviors. Men tend to be the ones that drive fast, scale buildings, and experiment with illicit drugs.

Men also will turn to drugs to self-medicate their depression and anxiety. While men and women both suffer from depression and anxiety, men don’t typically seek help from a counselor. There is a sense in many men to reach out for help is an act of weakness. And so they go it alone, using alcohol and other drugs to soothe their pain.

Signs of Drug Addiction

Now that we understand a bit more about why drug addiction is a bigger issue for men, let’s take a look at some of the most common signs:

  • Drinking or using drugs on a daily basis.
  • Drinking or using drugs alone.
  • Hiding their drug use.
  • One or more DUI.
  • Sudden problems at work or with friend/family relationships.
  • Spending time with new people who seem to be a bad influence.
  • Sudden weight loss or gain.
  • Losing interest in hobbies and other activities.

If someone you love is showing one or more of these signs, it may be time to intervene and speak to them about a treatment plan.

Treatment for Drug Addiction

Rehabilitation for drug addiction is a complex thing. Our loved one will not only have to detox his body to remove every trace of the drug; he’ll also have to commit to therapy to understand the psychological and behavioral reasons behind the drug addiction.

Therapy can be done one-on-one or in a group setting. And of course, he will need to join a support group such as AA to make sure he stays on track.

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug addiction and would like to explore treatment options, please be in touch with me. My goal is to help you navigate the healing process so you can live a happy and fulfilling life.



Ways that Compassion Can Help You Support a Loved One Suffering from Addiction

It can often be difficult knowing how to navigate a relationship that is tainted by addiction. Often, loved ones are told that helping an addict means creating codependency, and that the best thing to do is show some “tough love,” even if that means walking away.

But is this really true?

Is there a better way to relate to a friend or family member who is struggling with addiction? Is there a form of love besides “tough love” that can help us help our loved ones?

Recent research has found that loved ones can play an important role in an addict’s recovery. While loved ones can’t change their addicted friend or family member, there are things they can change about themselves that will benefit the relationship.

The most significant thing a person can do is to become more compassionate toward their loved one struggling with addiction. Compassion is key to recovery as it allows a person to love a friend or family member without condoning (enabling) their behavior.

Why Compassion is so Powerful in Recovery

When we offer a loved one genuine compassion, we voluntarily join them in their suffering and give them profound gifts that can be catalysts toward real healing and recovery.

Being compassionate means:

We See Them

Compassion allows us to really see our loved one and the suffering they are going through.

We Hear Them

All humans need to be heard, but those with substance abuse issues often feel they go unheard. Compassion allows us to talk less and listen more.

We Validate Them

To see and to hear are not enough, we must also let our loved ones know they have a right to express their pain, anger, sadness, or any other emotion they are feeling. Too often, friends and family members ignore or minimize their loved one’s suffering. Compassionate helps us validate the person.

We Comfort Them

Whether it’s physical, mental, or emotional pain, sufferers need to be comforted. Compassion guides us and helps us provide our loved ones with comfort through a loving touch, knowing glance, or a few kinds words.

It is also incredibly important to be compassionate toward yourself during your loved one’s recovery. Self-compassion asks that we treat ourselves kindly; that we see, hear, validate and show ourselves the same comfort we show our loved one. 

If you or a loved one is suffering with addiction and interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today. I would be happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.