Addiction impacts individuals differently. Gender also plays a role in how it develops and what treatments work best for recovery. This makes fighting addiction complex. Men taking the first steps to recovery need to know some important facts.
Fighting Addiction: Analyzing the Statistics
Drug addiction affects more than 15 million people around the world. Alcoholism has an even more widespread impact, affecting more than 75 million.
In the United States, nearly 12% of men aged 12 or older used illicit drugs in 2013. Men were also more likely than women to use marijuana, cocaine and hallucinogens. Over 30% of men reported binge drinking, with nearly 10% admitting to heavy alcohol use.
This shows that men who want to recover don't have to do it alone. Those in active recovery attending rehab clinics and support groups can help others fighting addiction. They offer encouragement, provide informational resources and promote strength to help individuals stay sober.
Addiction Affects the Brain
Addiction is a disease, so fighting addiction often requires medical intervention to succeed. Alcohol and drugs change the chemical balance in the brain. They overload the brain with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls pleasure. This makes users want to drink or do drugs again to feel the same effects.
Because of this, even a single use of some substances can trigger addiction. Long-term use can diminish glutamate, a neurotransmitter that controls learning, judgment, making decisions and memory.
Co-Occurring Mental Health Issues
Family history can predispose someone to addiction. While this isn't a guarantee, it does increase the risk of addiction developing.
Also, many people with addiction have co-occurring mental disorders. This means that they have at least one mental health issue alongside their addiction. Some examples of mental disorders include:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
An estimated 20–40% of people with addiction also have a mental health issue.
Fighting Addiction Takes More Than Willpower
Cravings and compulsive behaviors are very hard to ignore. There's never a quick fix for addiction because of its emotional, physical and social effects.
Instead of merely willpower, fighting addiction requires a treatment program that addresses the root cause. Medicine might be part of this plan, but it's only one of the pieces. People who suffer from addiction also need therapy and a strong support system.
Sobriety Is Possible
The path to sobriety might look dim in the beginning. However, it takes getting over the hump of withdrawal to see a glimpse of light at the end.
Although addiction is a disease, it's not hopeless situation. For men, treatment is available in many forms. Residential inpatient programs can help people struggling with addiction get through withdrawal symptoms and create treatment plans that fit their specific needs. A combination of medicine, behavioral therapy and aftercare is effective in most cases.
Fighting Addiction at Serenity Lodge
At Serenity Lodge in California, we help men struggling with addiction rediscover themselves and begin the path to sobriety. Our gender-responsive treatment center offers a relaxing and safe environment for men to discuss their experiences with addiction.
- 12-step meetings
- Individual counseling
- Group and family counseling
- Behavioral therapies
- Expressive arts therapies
Stop letting substances control your life. Fighting addiction starts with getting the right help. Call Serenity Lodge today at 866.379.4365 today to begin your journey to sobriety.