The Rising Rates of Drug Abuse in the U.S. and How It Affects Men

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Just a couple years ago, around 24.6 million Americans, from age 12 and up, were believed to have used some sort of illicit drug. That is 9.4 percent of the American population, and it was a 1.1 percent increase over the last study done in 2002.

The Increase Of Marijuana Use

Much of that rise seems to stem from the increasingly popular use of marijuana, which is now legal in 23 states. Most of those states only allow medical use of marijuana, with a prescription. It is also decriminalized in many states.

19.8 million, of that 24.6, are current users of marijuana. That is 7.5 percent of Americans over the age of 12, and it’s up from just 5.8 percent in 2007. While the use of marijuana has been on the rise, the use of other drugs seems to have stabilized.

Other Drugs And The American Population

In the studies done in 2013, there were 6.5 million Americans using prescription drugs incorrectly. That is 2.5 percent. 1.3 million Americans chose hallucinogens. like ecstasy and LSD, as their preferred methods of getting high.

Only 1.5 million people claimed to have used cocaine, which is on a decline. However, methamphetamine had risen 2013, from 353, 000 users back in 2010 to 595,000 current users.

When Drug Use Starts

Generally people test out drugs for the first time when they are in their teenage years. For many, marijuana is often the drug of choice, and is thought of as a gateway drug. More people in their late teens and in their twenties are abusing or addicted to drugs, while there is a rise in people in their 50s and 60s.

Men And Drug Abuse

A study done in 2011 showed that men seem to be more likely to develop substance abuse disorders than women. The same study also concluded that women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders.

There were more than 43,000 adults that participated in this study and it was found that men tend to externalize their emotions. This causes them to be more aggressive and impulsive, which can lead to the use of mind altering substances. Women are more likely to withdraw or internalize things, leading to depression.

Another study, from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, found that it was 2.2 times likelier for to have drug abuse issues than women, and that they were 1.9 times likelier to become dependent on drugs.

It’s a good thing that women use drugs less often than men, since it seems that their on average smaller stature makes their bodies take in more of the toxins from drug use, leading to more chances of overdose. It also seems that there are more barriers for women and the search from treatment.

Finding Help For Drug Addiction

There is treatment available for everyone, but while women tend to only get assistance with a referral from a social worker, men are more likely to get into a program through work or a social institution, like court or jail. That means that men seem to be forced into drug treatment more than women are.

There are sometimes separate programs for men and women. If they are together they often work on a more individual basis since, as you’ve already read, substance abuse is different for both sexes.

When you or someone you love is found to have a drug problem, it is important to get help. Finding drug detox centers throughout the US is as easy as getting online and doing a quick search, and it could mean the difference between life and death.

When a man is addicted to drugs it can not only lead to death, but he can lose his job, his home, his family, and all of his assets. There is the risk of hurting or killing someone else, neglecting children, as well as the increased risk of other personal health issues like heart attack and stroke.

Recovery Is Possible

Recovery isn’t easy, but it is possible. First it means going through the withdrawal process, which can take a toll on the mind and the body. It’s painful, with body aches and sweats, and often vomiting, but it’s worth it when the junk is out of the body and it’s time to moving forward.

Recovery is about learning how drug abuse affects your brain and how your body becomes addicted to the substance. You learn how to get past those cravings so that you can live a normal life again.

Drug abuse is a chronic illness, so the chances for relapse are there, but that doesn’t mean that treatment failed. Most people that work with drug abusers believe that the use of behavioral therapy is the most important way to avoid relapse. It help the abuser learn to live each day without their drug of choice, without the dependence on medication treatment for drug abuse.

For men, and women, that are addicted to drugs, treatment may be the last thing on their minds. They love the drug they do and they don’t want to stop. That is why caring family members and friends need to step in and get them the help that they need. Having a support system gets an addict one more step closer to recovery.