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Substance Use Treatment for Men

Addiction does not discriminate. It affects all genders. However, there are distinct differences in why and how men use and misuse drugs or alcohol.

Many recognized gender differences are based on various culturally defined roles. Gender affects how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us.1 Our societal perceptions of men play an important role in understanding drug use and misuse.

Common Substance Use Disorders Affecting Men

Drug abuse can take men through many different phases, from early use to addiction to relapse.2 Below is a list of some of the most abused drugs and their related issues for men.

Signs and Symptoms of Substance Misuse in Men

Society often expects men to be tough and independent—asking for help can be seen as weakness. So when men don’t know how to cope with stressors, they may turn to drugs or alcohol to escape the pain.

Trying to function as a spouse, father, son, and employee while under the influence of drugs is very difficult, though. Once caught in a pattern of using, men may not know how to ask for help to stop an emerging addiction. Some men do not easily open up about their feelings and emotions, so seeking help for addiction may cause them to feel weak, vulnerable, or even ashamed.8

Men with substance use disorders may also be more likely to experience anger, which may show in the form of violent behavior toward themselves or others.8 As substance abuse increases, you may notice a corresponding increase in aggressive behaviors.

Some general signs and symptoms you may recognize in yourself or your loved one if you suspect he is using a drug include:8,9

Consequences of Substance Misuse in Men

The use of any drug comes with consequences—the type, amount, and duration of drug use affects the severity of the consequences. Men experience specific physical effects as a result of substance abuse, including:3,10

  • A disruption of testosterone production and testicular function, which can result in impotence, infertility, and reduced chest or facial hair.
  • An increased risk of mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon cancer compared with women.

Additional consequences that men tend to experience include:3

  • Men are hospitalized and die more frequently due to alcohol-related causes than women.
  • Men instigate more physical assaults due to alcohol-related aggression than do women.
  • Men initiate more sexual assaults than women, too, and often take greater risks such as unprotected sex or sex with more than one person.
  • Men are more likely to commit suicide after drinking than are women.
  • Men are nearly twice as likely to be involved in a fatal car accident than women as a result of being drunk.

Detox and Rehab Programs for Men

two men talk closely in a addiction treatment settingMany programs are designed specifically for men that consider both sex and gender when creating detox and treatment plans. These treatment programs provide for the physical, mental, and emotional health needs that affect you as a man.

As you face the uncertainty of starting treatment and dealing with the personal and professional consequences of your addiction being known by others, the need to feel masculine, independent, and invulnerable may come into play.8 Below are a few of the unique approaches to male-specific treatment that seek to address some of these fears and issues:8

As a man prepares for treatment, he may worry about the gender of the counselor since stereotypes are one of the most important issues to consider when choosing one.8 While one man may be comfortable speaking with a female counselor, another man will not. This may be related to their own gender biases, upbringing, or culture.8

Counselors are trained to help you through this difficult conversation about who you are most comfortable with assisting you along this journey of recovery. Being open and honest about your preferences, past counseling experiences, and your own gender biases can help in identifying and placing you in the best client-counselor relationship.

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 Types of Treatment

The main goals of any substance abuse treatment are to help you stop using the drug, develop strategies to remain drug-free, and become productive members of your family, work, and society again.11

Mens Detox and Rehab Centers Near Me

If you or someone you love is a man struggling with addiction, seeking treatment may be a necessary step to leading a happier and healthier life. American Addiction Centers (AAC) offers a 24 hour detox hotline for men and women to answer questions about treatment. For more information, we can be reached at or through text.

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