Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a common and devastating disease that affects numerous individuals across the United States. While men and women are equally affected by the effects of alcohol addiction, AUD can affect more men than women due to a number of factors. Addressing the prevalence of alcohol use among men and the reasons behind the disparity is crucial in creating an effective approach to treatment for men overcoming their use of alcohol and the various ways that AUD has affected their lives.
The Prevalence of Alcohol Use Among Men
Alcohol use is incredibly common across the country. However, on average, men tend to engage with alcohol more often than women, with about 58 percent of men reporting having used alcohol across a given 30-day period, compared to a reported 49 percent of women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Addressing the reasons behind men’s overall propensity to engage with alcohol more often than their female counterparts is essential to creating a healthy and effective treatment program.
While 13 percent of adult men were diagnosed with AUD in 2020, compared to nine percent of women, this number does not necessarily reflect the myriad of other ways in which men are affected by excessive use of alcohol, or the stresses and barriers that men face in pursuing treatment. Overcoming the destructive use of alcohol and its continued effects on men’s physical and mental health is part of a comprehensive and effective treatment program.
Alcohol Use Among Men
There is no completely “safe” level of alcohol use, and the substance will always carry some degree of negative impact on an individual’s health. However, men can be especially vulnerable to the effects of alcohol due to a number of unique factors.
First, alcohol use is common as an outlet to relieve stress, despite its negative repercussions. While some men may normalize the use of alcohol as an after-work stress reliever, others may turn to the substance to process other intense feelings of anxiety, depression, or the manifestation of other mental health disorders. Coupled with prevalent social stigmas that make it difficult for men to reach out for help regarding their emotional needs, or a lack of education on how to communicate these needs, alcohol is commonly used to fill these stresses, quickly developing into substance abuse and addiction.
Alcohol can also be a prevalent part of traditional “masculine” culture, with drinking being commonplace across many media. Images of men in bars or associating alcohol with toughness can all affect an individual’s perspective. For some, this can normalize otherwise unhealthy and problematic levels of drinking, while others may not be able to recognize when the use of these substances is negatively affecting their daily life.
The Continued Effects of Alcohol Use
Alcohol use can affect many aspects of each person’s life, from a person’s professional performance or attendance to their mood, relationships, and more. An increase in feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, and much more are common while under the effects of alcohol. Angry outbursts, an increase in risk-taking behaviors, and much more can all beget further consequences of a person’s use. Therefore, addressing the need for treatment is paramount in helping men pursue a healthier, sober life.
Overcoming any of these effects without educated, professional support can be incredibly difficult. Understanding the continued effects of alcohol, as well as how it can affect an individual after the immediate effects of the substance have worn off is necessary for men to overcome the use of alcohol.
Identifying the Need for Treatment in Men
Men not only may engage with alcohol more often than women, but they also may be less likely to reach out for help regarding their use of alcohol, leading to potentially dangerous outcomes. This can lead to more intense health problems that could have been avoided with proper support. Men are more likely to not only end be hospitalized due to alcohol-related consequences but also other consequences of alcohol use, from health-related issues to DUIs.
This can mean that an individual may only pursue treatment for AUD only after they have suffered a drastic consequence, such as legal repercussions or intense damage to their physical health or relationships. Identifying the symptoms of alcohol use, such as the sudden onset of financial problems, adopting secretive lifestyles, inconsistent workplace attendance, performance, and more can all be signs that an individual may need to pursue professional treatment to overcome the use of alcohol.
Pursuing Treatment for AUD
While men and women alike can be greatly impacted by alcohol use and AUD, it is still important to address the unique, personal needs faced by each individual. However, treatment is always available and effective recovery is possible. Overcoming stigmas, creating a safe space for men to address their emotional and social needs in recovery, and helping to process and overcome trauma, DUI, or health-related complications that may result from alcohol use are necessary.
The use of alcohol can have many ramifications in your life. However, it is never too late for men to begin their journey to a healthy, sober future. At Buena Vista Recovery, we understand the unique needs and challenges that men face in their journey to a healthy and sober life, and we are prepared to help personalize your time with us to create the most effective treatment program possible. Our combination of proven therapeutic modalities with a community of caring and sympathetic peers and professionals creates a culture of healing and acceptance that can help you overcome your use of alcohol today. For more information on how we can help you, complete an insurance verification form or call us today at (480) 741-9414.