In terms of addiction and the way we react to it, there are obvious differences between the sexes. This is something that rehabilitation centres have noticed and, as a result, there are now many treatment centres for each specific sex. However, what makes men and women react differently when it comes to addiction?
It is not just in one area in which men and women differ in their reactions to addiction. Therapists have noticed that women deal with all stages of drug abuse differently to their male counterparts. This includes the initial addiction, maintaining that addiction, withdrawal, treatment, and even relapse. Gender-specific treatment centres have been in operation in the US for some time now but the first single-sex UK centre has recently opened and it looks as though there will be more opening up in the future.
Scientific studies have shown that in terms of addiction, women tend to use drugs more often than men, and use harder drugs. Typically, women who become addicted, develop addictions that are more serious. Nevertheless, does this mean that it is in their DNA?
It is thought that women are more susceptible to the pleasurable feelings experienced when taking drugs. It is believed that the reason for this is the existence of oestrogen in their bodies. Oestrogen stimulates the brains receptors for drugs and, by allowing women to feel greater pleasure, drug taking becomes a more enjoyable experience. For that reason, women are more prone to the cravings that are a part of drug addiction.
Another reason why women tend to develop more serious drug addictions than men is the fact that their bodies are generally smaller than the male body. Men and women tend to take similar amounts of a certain drug but the effect on the woman’s smaller body will be much stronger. The higher dose will have a greater effect on the woman’s brain, leading to an addiction developing in a much shorter time.
Addiction can become more serious for men when they are displaying typical ‘bravado’ behaviour. Men tend to take more risks than women so will be more likely to try drugs than women will. They are more likely to experiment with harder drugs in order to look ‘hard’ or to prove themselves.
In terms of admitting that an addiction exists, women are more likely to seek professional help. Most men will believe that they will look weak if they ask for help and will believe that they can fight addiction on their own. However, women are more likely to open up to others and to ask for help. Because women are more receptive to their own emotions and feelings, they are usually more likely to notice that they have a problem than men are.
When it comes to treatment, women will be more likely to start the ball rolling; however, sticking with it is where they fall down. Studies show that in the first thirty days of treatment, women are more likely to quit than men are. The reason that is usually cited is a need to care for children.
If you feel that you have a drug problem and need help, give us a call. Rehab Helper has a team of dedicated experts who will help you get the treatment you need. We will advise on the best rehabilitation centre for your needs. Call us today.