Men and Drug Abuse Detox
Substance addiction does not choose gender, it impacts both male and females. Besides, there are distinct differences in the reasons why men get into drugs and how they abuse them. Although the genetic component is the one that is used in characterizing men and women, in the society, gender differences are described using the culturally defined responsibilities.
Ideally, gender affects how people view us and how we perceive others too. The way we perceive men in the society contributes to our understanding of substance and alcohol abuse.
Common Abused Drugs by Men
Many men start to abuse drugs at an early age as an experimentation or due to peer pressure. Despite the reason why one abuses a drug, they are capable of being addicted. Addiction doesn’t happen overnight, but it is a process. One takes small amounts of a drug, later they can’t feel the effect of the drug and will be need more than they used to.
Also, as they progress, they become dependent on the drug and can’t function without it. In fact, when they have not consumed the substance they experience painful withdrawal symptoms. Described below are some drugs that men commonly abuse.
It is the most commonly abused drug by men in the society. Although alcohol is legal, the consumption is controlled, and it can lead to addiction. Alcohol is formulated in different forms; beer, wine, and liquor or spirits. Alcohol slows down the function of the brain, hence loss of coordination, concentration, and slurred speech.
Beer, an alcoholic drink that men love to drink, is manufactured using barley, water, hops, and yeast. As compared to the other forms of alcohol, beer has low contents of alcohol. Men take 3 to 5 or more bottles of alcohol, for them to feel the effects. Most men drink beer in happy moments and social gatherings such as parties.
Liquors include vodka, rum, tequila, and many others. Liquors, also referred to as hard rinks or spirits are commonly abused by men. They contain high contents of alcohol, and men mix them with water or soda to dilute. Men argue that each type of alcohol produces different feelings, but, any alcohol drink, whether spirit or wine, produces similar effects and can cause addiction.
Most men drink alcohol because it is legal and available, not considering the harm it might be causing to their body. They think that as a man you should be able to control the amounts of alcohol they take. One drinks to help in reducing stress, though later it creates bigger problems in your life and even those around you.
Marijuana or cannabis originates from the cannabis plant. Although in most states it is illegal to possess, distribute, or consume, it is commonly abused by all genders, not only men. The substance is dried out, rolled, and smoked by the users. Most people refer to it as “weed” or “pot.” Marijuana is the most abused illegal drug around the globe. More men smoke marijuana than women.
Stimulants just from the name, they stimulate body functions. When consumed, stimulants increase the rate at which different organs operate, including the ones that function automatically like heart and lungs. This, in turn, increases blood pressure, heart rate, and pulse. Stimulants that are commonly abused by men are cocaine and methamphetamine.
Cocaine is found in powder form and after one consumes, they experience similar feelings as such of consumption of excess caffeine. Cocaine is a drug that is highly addictive and can lead to weight loss or damage to the nasal cavity. Men are claimed to use cocaine two more times than women can consume.
Opioids are pain relievers. The commonly abused opioids are oxycodone and heroin. Heroin is highly addictive and is in the form of powder or sticky gel known as black tar heroin. If consumed for a long time, heroin can cause inflammation, scabs on the skin, damage to internal organs, and psychological impacts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims that men suffer from opioid abuse more than women, although it also reports that the gap isn’t big.
Many tobacco products contain nicotine as the main component. Studies have indicated that I in every 6 men smoke cigarettes. Smoking cigarette is legal, and the society accepts it, though it can be addictive and cause harmful effects on your health and other elements in your life. Men who smoke have low immunity, and hence are more vulnerable to health complications. Also, they are more likely to miss work and have high costs of health care.
Symptoms Men Display when Abusing Drugs
The society expects men to be tough and get solutions on their own without depending on anyone. So, when a man is facing problems and doesn’t know what to do, they get stressed, and the only way to cope up with the situation can be drugs and alcohol consumption. The drugs help them avoid reality and relieve pain.
Taking the responsibility as a husband, father, son, employee, and perhaps other communal roles, while consuming drugs can be challenging. In most cases, since the society expects men to be independent, when they get into a pattern of abusing substances they may fear to ask for assistance. Many men are not free, and it is difficult to express their feeling like women do, thus seeking for help may make them feel vulnerable or weak.
Addicted men are likely to become irritable and hard to deal with. They may become violent and rebellious, which threatens your peace and physical health. If asked whether they have problems with substance use they might deny and become violent. As they progress in drug abuse, their aggressiveness increases. The following are some general signs that a man is abusing drugs.
- An Abrupt Change in Behaviour
Drugs are chemicals that disrupt the functioning of the brain. They affect your decision-making process, thus your behaviours. Drug abuse is normally carried out secretly. He will suddenly start lying about where he is, whom he is with or what he is doing. Some, due to obvious reasons, hide their withdrawal symptoms. Other men may become violent and difficult to handle.
- Mood swings
Drug addicts depend on the substance to be happy. Some drugs when consumed make one feel so low, while others initiate hormones for happiness. One may get home very sad, but after some time on his own, he comes out very happy. Just like behaviour, mood swings are due to the chemicals in the drugs.
- Loss of interest
He will no longer enjoy the activities he used to enjoy before getting into drugs. They withdraw themselves from family activities. Visits to friends and other relatives are reduced, and most of the time they will want to spend alone. Personal hobbies like swimming, watching soccer or movies, are no longer enjoyable as they are now focussed on the substance. It generates the pleasures they require.
Some men are very concerned when it comes to grooming. When one gets into drugs they will no longer care how they look. They will forget to shower, brush and wear clean clothes. Strong urge to consume the substance surpass their personal hygiene.
- Sleeping patterns
Men will change their sleeping patterns once they start consuming drugs. This is not only to men, but anyone addicted to drugs may experience this. During the night they may be taking the drugs which deny them time to sleep, and thus they will want to sleep during the day. Also, some drugs when consumed, slow down body processes and may make one sleepy despite the time and place.
- Change in Eating Patterns
Some withdrawal symptoms include loss of appetite. One may stay without eating for a long time. Other drugs increase appetite and may make one overfeed. He might eat within short intervals, even waking up at night to grab a snack.
- Red or glassy eyes – this will depend on the substance being abused. Red eyes indicate that the person is heavily depending on the substance.
- A Runny nose – one may sniff constantly or have running nose. This is a common sign for those who sniff or inhale drugs.
Consequences Men Face due to Drug Abuse
Every choice has got consequences which are felt later, including the choice to abuse drugs. Substance use affects individuals depending on the type of drug consumed, amount, and duration. These factors also affect the severity of drug addiction, though one’s mental health and combination with other drugs may contribute too. The following are some effects of drug abuse on men;
- Disruption of the testosterone level– consumption of drugs, which contain harmful chemicals impacts the testicular function and the secretion of testosterone hormone. This can lead to infertility, reduced growth of chest and facial hair.
- Health problems – Men frequently suffer from alcoholism-related infections like liver cirrhosis, hypertension, and many others more than women. Consumption of substances can cause mouth, throat, liver, and other types of cancer. Depending on the method used to consume drugs; inhalation, ingestion or smoking, the organ involved is in great danger of getting cancer.
- Physical assaults – when one is under influence, they can be violent which makes them incur more physical assaults than women.
- Men are involved in sexual assaults more than women. Also, they get into risky sexual behaviours like engaging in unprotected sex or intimate acts with more than one person when under influence. This puts them in great danger of conducting deadly sexual diseases like HIV/AIDS, Gonorrhoea, and many others.
- Suicidal thoughts and depression– taking drugs and especially alcohol can lead to depression which causes suicidal thoughts. Since the society doesn’t expect men to fail or be weak, men are more likely to commit suicide than women after drinking alcohol.
- Accidents – many accidents occur due to the effects of drug abuse. Men are twice likely to cause accidents while driving under influence than women.
- Legal problems – many men face legal problems due to substance use. The US Department Report on Drugs and Crime states that 19% of male prisoners are jailed due to drug-related offences. They are either caught using, selling or in possession. Also, while under influence, one may engage in awkward behaviour like violence or soliciting prostitutes which lead to encounters with police, court or even be jailed.
- Domestic problems – many domestic disagreements in the society are related to men who abuse drugs. Research indicates that every nine seconds a woman is physically assaulted causing injury to women. Alcohol abuse is claimed to be the top leading abuse that causes domestic violence.
Many treatment programs are designed specifically for men. Some addiction centers design detoxification programs based on the drug and sex. The treatment programs offer physical, emotional, mental, and health needs that have been affected due to drug use as a man. Rarely do men seek treatment on their own, but mostly after they have been involved in legal problems. Although some notice the harm the substance is causing to their health, life and decide to seek treatment voluntarily.
When a man is thinking about treatment, he might worry about the sex of the counsellor. Many males prefer talking to females, but not all. Others are comfortable sharing their problems and feelings with another man. This can be contributed to upbringing, gender biases, or his culture.
Specialists at rehab are trained on how to assist the addicted men through difficult conversations, and how to determine who they can be comfortable to help them in the recovery process. You should be open and honest about your tastes, past rehab experiences, and own gender biases to help the counsellor in identifying the best specialist to assist you.
As a man faces the painful withdrawal symptoms during the treatment process, they become worried about their personal and professional relationships. Additionally, men don’t like their problems being known by other people and addiction is not exceptional. One, despite the circumstance, wants to feel independent, strong, and invulnerable.
Therefore, treatment programs for men are designed to take care of such feelings. Below are some specific things that are considered regarding treatment for addiction in men.
Men are worried about who will be told they are under treatment for drug addiction. Specialists assure male patients that anything that goes on after they have been evaluated and throughout the treatment is confidential.
- Positive support
The most affected people due to substance addiction are family and friends. hence during the treatment men are encouraged to build positive support. People who will motivate them in their recovery process, and not those who will criticize or judge their decision. The medic team may recommend a family therapy or couple therapy to assist him and his family. Including your male folks who do not use drugs can be important too.
- Emphasizing free choice
Although in many treatment options, choices are limited, in a male designed treatment plan, a male can make many choices for themselves. Every man wants to feel independent and not controlled. Ideally, they need help but will feel uncomfortable to accept help. It makes them feel weak, controlled, and ashamed.
- Minimizing confrontation
Whether it is the right or wrong choice, when confronted, men become rebellious. Counsellors use involving techniques such as open-minded interviews to motivate the addicted man instead of confronting them. Men are unique and individual therapies may work well than group therapies as it reduces conflict between him and other men.
- Addressing violent behaviours
Men are more likely to initiate violent than women. Also, they tend to be more victims of physical assaults while under influence of substances. Any treatment center has got specific behaviour expectations and consequences that one should follow for them to stay in the facility. In a male- designed treatment plan, these regulations are more strict than in women.
- Acknowledging a man’s strength
Men always think they are ever strong, and every person around them should notice and acknowledge that. They have decided to seek treatment, that is a show of strength and as a specialist, you should show appreciation to them. when you praise him for taking that step, it encourages them throughout the treatment process.
Male addicts are uneasy about sharing their feelings and how irresponsible substance abuse has made them while undergoing treatment. Assuring them that they are in the right place and it is not late to recover lost dignity will increase their activeness in the treatment process.
Methods of Treatment
The main objective of any treatment is to assist you in quitting the substance use and preventing relapse. One is prepared to re-enter the society and how to be productive again. The following are some treatment options.
Detox is a process via which the body eliminates drugs from your system. It helps the body to heal after being damaged by chemicals in substances. Depending on the substance abused, duration of addiction, and personal preferences, one can choose to detox at the facility, home or in an outpatient program.
The severity of drug addiction and presence of other mental problems contribute to the choice of the detoxification program. Detox is a painful process, that is mostly accompanied by painful withdrawal symptoms. Hence for it to be comfy and effectual, it should be medically supervised.
Detox at home can be an option, but in most cases, it fails and can be very painful or lead to death. Before deciding to detox on your own, consider recommendations from an expert. Detoxification is the first step that prepares the man for the treatment process. There are two types of detox;
- Inpatient detoxification
The addicted man stays at the facility. The addict receives 24/7 medical support which prevents relapse. The environment is positive and safe, and thus it is the most recommended detox program by counsellors. The normal length of the inpatient program is 30 days, but one can be required to stay for 60, 90 days or more depending on his needs and perhaps needs.
The medic team encourage and give you freedom of choice throughout the process. Medications and therapies are administered to help relieve the withdrawal symptoms. Since one resides at the treatment center, they are free from distractions. During group therapies, addicted people share their experiences and encourage each other.
- Outpatient program
It is a less recommended option by specialists since one is at higher risk of a relapse due to the environment. One stays at home and creates time for the treatment. It can be the best option if the withdrawal symptoms are mild, and one has responsibilities they must attend to like family and work.
Individuals who are focussed on recovery and are disciplined benefit from the outpatient patient program. One can choose to check in with their counsellor daily, weekly, or even once a month. This is dependent on the substance, duration of addiction, and many other factors.
The outpatient program is affordable to many addicted men. You only see the doctor according to your schedule and stay at home, hence no accommodation and hospitality costs. As you continue with treatment, you receive enough support from your family and friends as you interact with them daily. Detoxification is painful, and one can get worried about how life without drugs will be. Thus, support and encouragement are crucial.
Many people ask how long the process takes? The detoxification process is conducted if withdrawal symptoms are available. The goal is to stabilize an individual physically and mentally.
If your father, son, colleague, friend, or a neighbour is struggling with substance addiction, intervene and help them get treatment. It can be difficult but, remember the earlier the better. Men- designed programs are meant to heal specific problems that a man has suffered due to substance addiction.
Men, in the society, they are perceived to be leaders who should express independence. Drug addiction makes one do or say things which are regrettable in the future like stealing and sexual behaviours. At the rehab, men should be assisted to repair the damage that they might have done to other people; spouses, kids, friends, relatives, and even neighbours.