Anyone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol should absolutely seek help to kick their habit, but how does treatment differ between men and women? Why do such differences exist in the first place?
Addiction to drugs or alcohol impacts each person differently; however, the effects that are experienced often differ between genders. For this reason, men and women may benefit from different types of Colorado addiction treatment in order to help them overcome their addictions more effectively.
How Do Drugs and Alcohol Affect Men and Women Differently?
Every individual may have his or her own unique experience when abusing drugs. That said, differences also exist on a gender basis. Generally speaking, many women often tend to experience more harmful effects of drugs and alcohol than men.
Body fat composition plays a role in how drugs and alcohol affect the body. Since women tend to have a higher body fat percentage than men, they can become intoxicated much faster because fat retains alcohol and water dilutes it. Women are also usually smaller than men on average, causing the way that alcohol is absorbed in the body to differ between genders.
Women also have lower levels of alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase, which are enzymes that metabolize alcohol in the stomach and liver. As such, alcohol is absorbed faster and in larger quantities in the bloodstream of women.
Recent studies have suggested that women are more susceptible to developing an addiction to alcohol faster than men, which could be a result of the difference in hormones as well as the way women’s bodies process alcohol.
Women also have a tendency to have co-occurring disorders, depression, or eating disorders. They are also more likely to use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate as a result of psychological issues or social pressures.
Although these generalizations do not suggest that such differences are true for everyone, they can provide some insight into how to appropriately deal with the needs of addicts.
Why Are Different Treatment Approaches Needed For Men and Women?
Since drugs and alcohol can differ in how they affect a woman’s body versus that of a man’s, sometimes treatment methods may need to differ as well. Tailoring Colorado addiction treatment strategies and programs based on an addict’s gender can help ensure a higher degree of efficacy.
Women are less likely to seek help, many times because of their family commitments – such as childcare responsibilities or eldercare obligations – which make it difficult to pursue treatment. Women also tend to face a stigma against female addicts, deterring them from seeking help.
Specific services are available to help women to suit their particular needs, including family therapy, social support, therapy for trauma, and assistance with parenting. Many women may benefit from a women-only treatment facility, especially if they have had a history of spousal abuse or trauma at the hands of a man.
Not only should treatment be focused on the biological differences between men and women, they should also be based on social and environmental factors, which can impact a person’s desire to use the drug of choice, as well as the desire to seek treatment.
That said, once women are in a treatment program or facility, they are just as likely as men to finish their treatment and recover from their addiction.
Anyone who is suffering from addiction should not hesitate to seek Colorado addiction treatment. But perhaps entering a facility that is geared toward addressing issues that are gender-specific might be more effective for those battling addiction. If you or any of your loved ones are struggling with addiction, be sure to speak with a representative at The Recovery Village today. Contact us now to discuss treatment options.