Addiction can affect people from all walks of life, and it looks different for everyone — including for men and women. Men have different genetic factors and life experiences than women that contribute to how they’re affected by substance misuse. Learn more about addiction in men and how Gateway Foundation’s specific rehabilitation programs for men can help you start on the path to recovery.
There isn’t a single identifiable risk factor that causes someone to be more likely to misuse substances, and researchers believe it’s a complex dynamic of genetic influences and environmental pressures. Anyone can become addicted to drugs or alcohol, but addiction affects men and women differently.
Men are more likely than women to use illicit substances and multiple drugs at a higher rate. The elevated risk for substance misuse likely stems from a variety of risk factors, including:
Gateway Foundation treats multiple types of addiction, including the most common addictions men experience. Here’s a look at men’s most predominant types of addiction.
Alcohol addiction is one of the most common addictions among men. Men are more likely to binge drink than women and have a higher chance of developing an addiction. People with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) have a compulsion to drink and don’t stop, even if they know that it has a significant effect on their lives. Men with an AUD may spend most of the day drinking and participate less in their hobbies to make time for alcohol.
Men who drink might also distance themselves from friends and family to drink in private or due to feelings of guilt and shame. They may fall behind on their responsibilities at work or home, and their relationships may deteriorate due to alcohol becoming a priority.
There’s a common belief that it’s impossible to become addicted to marijuana. The absence of addictive chemicals perpetuates this myth. However, the mind can develop a psychological dependency on the drug, and some people need it to sleep, eat or socialize. Despite a chemical dependency not being present, marijuana addiction is still possible.
Men are more likely to smoke marijuana than women, meaning they’re more likely to develop an addiction to the drug. THC, the primary chemical found in pot, alters how your brain works. It impacts the way you think and, in the short term, can cause mood swings and cognitive impairments. Long-term use has an even more significant impact on the brain by altering brain development, particularly if you began using the drug as a teenager.
Additionally, smoking marijuana harms the lungs. Lung infections, diseases and cancer are all possible from smoking pot. People who smoke frequently may experience difficulty breathing, nausea and an increased heart rate. Excessive use can cause paranoia, hallucination and even psychosis.
Heroin has many side effects, including:
Prolonged heroin use can lead to severe health complications, such as collapsed veins, liver disease, heart damage and pneumonia. The most significant risk with heroin is the potential for a drug overdose. The drug affects the body’s ability to continue breathing, resulting in respiratory depression. If an overdose occurs, the individual will slowly stop breathing, which can potentially result in death if immediate treatment isn’t administered.
Prescription drugs can do a lot of good when prescribed and used correctly, but these medications are often abused and result in addiction. These drugs can include opioids, anti-anxiety medications, sedatives and stimulants. The side effects of each vary, but in general, a person who misuses prescription drugs might feel:
People who use these drugs should seek treatment for their underlying medical conditions that caused them to become reliant on a substance. This can range from chronic pain to mental health disorders. Proper treatment can help individuals manage their conditions and find healthy coping mechanisms, such as yoga or meditation, to replace their substance misuse.
Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a drug that’s often used to treat narcolepsy. People have begun using GHB illicitly as a party drug since the effects include heightened senses and an altered mood. Some people also use GHB as a date rape drug, making victims experience blackouts, memory loss and lowered inhibition.
Some of the signs of GHB misuse include:
People with a GHB addiction usually display the same symptoms as people with other types of addiction, including withdrawal symptoms, social isolation and neglected responsibilities.
Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is a drug that affects the central nervous system. Crystal meth is a powerful form of the drug that’s highly addictive. The drug increases the amount of dopamine in the brain, creating a sense of euphoria. People who use meth also feel more energetic and have increased endurance, making it a popular party drug. People addicted to meth often experience various physical and mental health complications.
Side effects of methamphetamine use include:
People with a meth addiction should seek treatment from a professional treatment center. The right treatment options can help you detox from the drug and help you rebuild your life. Your physical and mental health will improve, as will your relationships. You’ll be able to get back to the hobbies you once enjoyed and plan a future free from drug addiction.
When used correctly, steroids can be beneficial. They can be prescribed to treat hormonal imbalances in men with testosterone deficiency. However, these drugs are often misused, especially by athletes or bodybuilders trying to boost their performance. Some people even use steroids to improve their appearance based on societal standards and pressures surrounding masculinity. The misuse of these drugs can lead to an addiction, which manifests as:
People addicted to steroids also experience various side effects, such as hormone problems, aggressive behavior and mood changes or disorders. Seeking treatment for steroid addiction can prevent these symptoms from affecting your life. You’ll be able to repair your relationships with your friends and family and return to productive living. You’ll also learn healthy coping mechanisms and habits to prevent future relapse.
If you are trying to determine if you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, there are some signs you can look out for that might indicate an addiction. Different substances will have a varied effect on each person, but in general, the following signs are often present in men who are using alcohol or drugs:
Addiction has varying effects based on what substance is being used. Drugs and alcohol are chemicals that directly affect the brain and body, causing various short-term and long-term effects. Extended use of substances can create potentially dangerous health effects.
Some short-term effects of addiction can include:
Some substances have additional effects apart from what’s listed above. For example, the short-term use of steroids can cause paranoia, aggression and mania. In comparison, GHB can cause euphoria, confusion and blackouts.
Using substances for a long time increases the number of effects an individual experiences. Long-term effects of addiction can include:
An additional long-term effect of substance use includes a decrease in testosterone levels. When testosterone is low in the body, men may have a low sex drive or may not perform with an intimate partner. Substance use also can affect sperm production by lowering the body’s sperm count, making it challenging to conceive children. This can create tension in intimate relationships, increasing feelings of stress, isolation and depression.
Gateway Foundation has multiple treatment programs and levels of care for men. We have numerous rehab facilities across Illinois, so every man can find a program close to home. Learn more about our men’s substance use treatment programs below.
Inpatient residential treatment is for individuals who have a severe addiction or lack an adequate support network at home. People who don’t live in a sober environment at home might also choose residential treatment to hold them accountable until they’ve completely detoxed from a substance.
With residential treatment, you can recover in an environment that eliminates temptations and reduces cravings. You’ll have access to 24/7 medical support and care during your stay. Around-the-clock supervision helps reduce discomfort caused by withdrawal symptoms or cravings, and you’ll always have someone to lean on for support.
The length of your stay will vary based on your personal circumstances. Some people progress faster through treatment, while others require an extended stay. The severity of the addiction will also play a factor in how long residential treatment is needed. Once residential treatment is completed, many men move to outpatient treatment to continue their care.
Our outpatient programs are for clients who want something other than 24/7 residential care or those who have outside responsibilities that prevent them from attending inpatient treatment, such as childcare or work.
Outpatient care consists of multiple options to accommodate your individual lifestyle while still providing quality care.
One type of outpatient treatment is our full-day partial hospitalization program. You’ll attend treatment for around eight hours a day, each day of the week. You’ll receive the same intensive care that residential clients receive, but rather than spending your night with us, you’ll return home in the evening. Many patients use full-day outpatient treatment to transition between residential care and intensive outpatient treatment.
Full-day treatment is ideal for patients who have a good support network at home that will hold them accountable and reinforce the skills they learn from treatment. Our full-day treatment services also offer educational services for family members, so they can build a deeper understanding of what you’re going through and help you on your journey to recovery.
Another type of outpatient care is our half-day intensive outpatient program. Like full-day treatment, you’ll spend some time at the facility undergoing treatment. However, you won’t be receiving treatment eight hours a day, five days a week. Instead, you’ll have a few sessions a week for three to five hours a day to build the necessary tools to facilitate a successful recovery.
Our half-day treatment program is ideal for people who need treatment but have other responsibilities, including work, childcare or school. Some clients also use half-day treatment as the next step in their recovery after completing residential or full-day treatment. The best part is that many insurance providers cover half-day treatment programs for men, so it’s an accessible level of care for those looking to reduce their out-of-pocket costs.
General care is another type of outpatient care at Gateway Foundation. Many patients choose to transition to general care after completing intensive outpatient treatment. You’ll meet once per week with a group or individually to discuss the obstacles you’re going through or any progress you’ve made. These meetings help hold you accountable while also offering continued support.
Our general care program is excellent for clients looking for continued care while they take care of their outside responsibilities. This program is flexible so clients can choose the treatment that works around their existing schedule. We have multiple rehabs for men located across Illinois, so you can find an outpatient treatment program that works for you.
The transition between treatment and independent living can sometimes be overwhelming. Our sober living homes provide a smooth transition, so you can adjust back to sober living.
During your time in a sober living home, you’ll be provided a routine by an addiction counselor who will help hold you accountable and prevent relapse. You’ll also be able to continue to attend outpatient treatment simultaneously so you can continue to develop your new skills and reinforce everything you’ve learned.
Sober living homes also allow you to build new connections with people who have gone through experiences similar to your own. By the time you complete treatment and transition from a recovery home to your own residence, you’ll have a robust support network that you can rely on when you need it.
Some people with a substance use disorder worry about uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and avoid treatment to prevent them from happening. In other cases, clients have a severe addiction that requires a detox to begin a successful recovery.
Our withdrawal management program uses medication-assisted treatment to help you overcome the most uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. You’re under 24/7 medical supervision during this process and have constant access to support should you need it. The most intense withdrawal symptoms usually start to fade after the first few days of detox. Once you’ve gotten through the majority of your withdrawal symptoms, you’ll transition from our detox program to one of our other rehabilitation programs for men.
You may still have lingering cravings and other emotional or psychological symptoms. Our detox program will coach you through these feelings, so you have a better understanding of what to expect as you transition to the next stage of your recovery process.
People of different genders have different experiences with drug addiction that require specialized care. Gender-specific treatment can create an environment to facilitate a successful recovery. Many men seek out gender-specific treatment for this treatment method’s various benefits.
Gender-specific treatment focuses specifically on the experiences that only affect men. For example, the culture surrounding masculinity directly correlates to continued substance misuse. Men are often seen as weak if they talk about their feelings or ask for help, so they might use alcohol or drugs to cope. Gender-specific treatment analyzes this worldview and deconstructs it so patients can move forward with healthy coping mechanisms and a changed mindset.
Gender-specific treatment allows men to speak openly about their experiences and removes the expectation that men have to be tough or strong all the time. They don’t have to feel like they need to hide their emotions or problems and speak with people who share similar experiences.
Some men share aggressive or violent experiences during their treatment, which can be uncomfortable for women to hear. This might make men close up about their experiences during group therapy, which hinders their progress. When they’re in group therapy with only other men, they can share these experiences without fear of judgment.
An additional benefit of gender-specific treatment is focusing on the specific relationship dynamic between men and their loved ones. These relationships are often impacted by substance use and can cause men to lose their support network. Gender-specific treatment helps repair these relationships and allows men to reconnect with their friends and family members.
It also helps men build a robust support network, which they don’t usually have. While some men can build support networks on their own, many don’t reach out for help from their friends or family. Part of the reason for this is that men are expected to be strong and stand on their own. Societal pressures can prevent men from asking for help when they need it. Gender-specific treatment allows men to speak freely without these expectations weighing them down.
Men who use substances are also at risk for depression, suicide and other mental health issues. Gender-specific treatment helps men understand the effects that drugs and alcohol have on the body and mind and teaches them how to identify triggers and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
Mixed-gender rehab can create certain challenges for men. They might close up in group discussions out of fear of judgment from their female peers.
Single-gender rehabilitation allows men to be more vulnerable since they don’t feel a need to put up a front. Rehabilitation is explicitly focused on the needs of men, and they can speak openly about their emotions and experiences with other men who understand what they’re going through.
Single-gender rehab also focuses on issues more common among men who use substances, such as maladaptive anger and violent behavior. Treatment focuses on addressing these issues and teaches men to take responsibility for these behaviors. Men-focused rehab also provides the tools necessary to change these behaviors while recovering from an addiction.
There are significant benefits to choosing single-gender rehab over mixed-gender rehab. Men can achieve a successful recovery by choosing gender-specific treatment that will focus specifically on their needs and experiences.
It’s normal to have questions concerning treatment. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions concerning addiction treatment for men.
Once you’ve decided to seek out treatment, our professional staff at Gateway Foundation will provide you with a free assessment and recommendations based on our findings. We’ll help you come up with a treatment plan and provide you with all of the necessary information so you can take the next step toward recovery.
The costs of treatment for men vary based on a few factors. The level of care you require, the length of your treatment, and your insurance coverage will all be factored into the cost.
Once you contact our staff, we can give you an accurate price estimate based on your individual needs. You’ll know what you need to pay before you commit to treatment.
Every client is different, and the right rehab program for you will be individual to you. Our staff will guide you through all of our treatment options and programs so you have a complete understanding of what we offer. We’ll also perform an assessment to determine your specific needs to facilitate a successful recovery and provide you with recommendations based on the information we’ve gathered.
We offer a full range of care for men, including:
From there, you can choose a rehab program that works best for you, and we’ll guide you through each step of the process.
We have rehab for men in multiple locations across Illinois so that you can find treatment close to home. Our men’s rehabilitation programs are located in:
We have worked to help our clients overcome addiction for over 50 years. We use evidence-based treatments that are proven to drive positive results. With multiple locations and caring staff, we can provide you with high-quality treatment to guide you on the path to a successful recovery. Our programs are personalized for your individual needs, so you always have the support you require.
Our services are also in-network with most insurances, so you can worry less about the cost and focus on your treatment.
If this is your first time seeking treatment with Gateway Foundation, we’ll walk you through each step. You’ll undergo an assessment by one of our medical professionals, who will give you recommendations based on your addiction’s severity and your individual needs. You’ll follow your personalized treatment plan with consistent support from our staff.
Each level of care has different requirements, and our staff will guide you through each one, so you know exactly what to expect once you enter treatment.
Gateway Foundation also offers treatment for co-occurring disorders. Many people who struggle with substance use disorders also have a co-occurring mental health disorder. People with mental illness often use substances to cope with uncomfortable symptoms. While substances may temporarily relieve these feelings, they usually worsen mental health conditions.
When you seek treatment at Gateway Foundation, we treat both conditions simultaneously so that you can treat the underlying causes of substance misuse. We’ll provide you with the coping mechanisms and skills needed to manage your mental health symptoms.
Addiction can affect multiple aspects of a person’s life, including their relationships. Your physical and mental health are also significantly impacted by continued substance use, resulting in lifelong chronic conditions that affect your quality of life.
Treating addiction is the best way to rebuild and live life to the fullest. The professional staff at Gateway Foundation can guide you through the recovery process, and our evidence-based treatments and programs give you the best chance at success. We’ll continue to offer you support even once your treatment has ended.
We have multiple rehab centers for men in Illinois so that you can seek recovery around your support network. To learn more about our programs or take the first step toward recovery, fill out our online contact form today.
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