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Addiction and Pressures of Masculinity

jrtempleton - April 14, 2019

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When you see a man being celebrated for something, it’s often related to achieving dominance. From athletes to businessmen, we love to see a winner. He’s often strong, handsome and stoic. Despite the adversity he experiences, he doesn’t let emotions get in the way of achieving his goals.

These ideals are held up in news stories, TV shows and movies as the pinnacle of manliness. However, when you feel like you’ve let yourself or others down, where are the role models for working through the feelings you encounter? How do you address the self-doubt?

Societal expectations of men and a lack of accepted emotional outlets are a significant factor in why some men turn to addiction.

Toxic Masculinity and Alcoholism in Men

Having such a narrow view of masculinity can lead to problematic thoughts and behaviors, including:

  • Aggression and violence
  • Disregard for women, or behaviors and actions thought of as feminine
  • Emotional avoidance
  • Engaging in risky behavior like substance abuse

These attitudes and actions are commonly referred to as toxic masculinity. Research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse shows that, in general, men binge drink and abuse alcohol more often across most age ranges. Toxic masculinity is thought to be a strong contributing factor to these statistics.

How Alcoholism Impacts Men

Due to biological differences between men and women, men are generally capable of consuming more alcohol in the short and long term without having to deal with the health consequences as quickly. This is reflected in the higher rates of men needing ER attention for alcohol poisoning and more instances of alcohol-related injuries because they are drinking in larger quantities.

Men may experience sexual difficulties like impotence and infertility. They are also considerably more likely to die from:

  • Alcohol-related cancers such as liver, mouth and throat
  • Heart or liver disease
  • Stroke

Gender-Specific Treatment for Addiction

Because the reasons for and consequences of addiction for men and women can be so different, it’s often helpful for men to have treatment tailored for their needs. This may include private residences for male occupants, as well as, men’s group therapy sessions to address issues specific to the male experience. Men tend to struggle with higher rates of relapse, and these sessions can pay special attention to overcoming that hurdle, as well.

Dealing with Masculinity and Addiction

Alcoholism can sneak up on you. You may have started drinking to cope with feelings of shame, inadequacy, anger or depression, but now, you need a drink just to feel normal. Fortunately, it is possible to recover from this disease, but it requires treatment and a desire to heal.

Maybe you’ve tried to quit before and failed. That’s understandable. Alcohol detox can be dangerous and difficult—especially if you’re trying to do it on your own. It’s one of the big reasons people struggle to quit drinking.

The staff at Footprints Beachside Recovery understands the challenges of addiction recovery. We work with men on gender-specific treatment that addresses their needs, but the level of customization doesn’t stop there. We tailor your program to meet your individual needs.

Are you worried about the cost of recovery? Our admissions experts can help answer your questions. Contact our team today and begin healing from addiction.

Call Now: 877-250-3935