Difference Between Men and Women In Coping With Addiction

While addiction is a problem that anyone can face, there are noticeable differences in the causes, manifestation, susceptibility as well as treatment when it comes to men and women. Understanding the main differences and the implications of society shows the distinction between men and women in coping with addiction. 

Susceptibility Differs

While men are more likely to become addicts as their exposure to substance abuse is more common than women due to peer pressure, women's susceptibility to substance dependency and addiction is higher than men. That is because a women’s metabolism is slower, making the effect of a drug last longer in the body which leads to drugs having a stronger effect. 


Dealing with addiction on your own is quite a difficult task, but sometimes, it is difficult for women to seek professional help as they face so much more struggles in getting treatment. It is easy to identify addiction in men and be referred to a facility specialized in addiction treatment; however, when It comes to women there are other factors that need to be considered. Women tend to be more discrete and hide their addiction as the implications can be extreme. If the addict is a mother, it is difficult to find a facility with a childcare option and there’s a risk of losing custody of the child when being identified as an addict. For that reason, women who are mothers tend to avoid getting the right treatment and find it so much more difficult to cope on their own. 

How gender roles affect addiction 

The main differences when it comes to addiction are the root of biological and sociological differences. Society has created gender stigmas which affect the way genders resort to drug use and treatment. Men are taught to suppress their feelings and that expressing emotion is a sign of weakness. Bottling up their emotions and taking on more than they can handle can lead to depression, which in turn is one of the reasons many people turn to drugs. It is very difficult to admit mental health issues and so instead of seeking treatment, many men choose to resort to self-medication with drugs. 

When it comes to women, however, one of the main reasons they resort to drug use is a way of escaping from trauma and mental health problems. Due to the biology of women and their smaller sizes, women tend to get affected by drugs a lot faster and therefore more prone to addiction. However, the gender roles that society has implemented affect the way that women deal with addiction and avoid getting treatment. Women feel the pressure of being judged and how the society will not accept her and so admitting addiction is usually out of the question out of fear. 

The impact of society and biology between different genders has a huge effect on not only becoming an addict, but also in getting treatment. Understanding the root of the problem is one of the ways that can help save someone who is suffering from addiction and be able to spot the signs.

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