Statistics suggest that men tend to suffer addiction at a much higher rate than women. Why this difference? One explanation might be that men partake in riskier behaviours. Men tend to be more likely to experiment with illicit drugs and drink more.
Men often self medicate to cope with mental health issues and don’t typically seek support. There is a sense for many men that they can affectively soothe their pain by using alcohol and other drugs. The thought of reaching out for psychological help feels too complicated and stigmatising.
Below are some ways in which addiction might present itself.
Drinking or using drugs daily or alone
Secrecy or hiding use
Unexpected issues with the law
Surprising problems at work or with friends and family relationships
Spending time with new ‘friends’ who seem to be a bad influence
Sudden weight gain or loss
Mood swings, sleep and appetite disturbance
Losing interest in hobbies and other activities
If someone you love is displaying these signs, it may be time to intervene and speak to them about seeking help and support.
Treatment for addiction
Rehabilitation for addiction is a complex process which needs professional guidance and loving community. Your loved one will need to go through detox and develop an understanding of the psychological and behavioural reasons behind the addiction.
You can support their sobriety by encouraging them to attend either one to one counselling and a group. Becoming a member of a support group such as AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), CA (Cocaine Anonymous), NA (Narcotics Anonymous) is paramount for healing during the journey of recovery.
If your loved one struggles with addiction and wants to explore treatment options, please get in touch. My goal in couples work is to help you both navigate the path of recovery and healing. I offer sessions online and from my office in Hove.