It's important that treatment plans not only cater to each substance abuser but also differ based on a person's gender. As we'll discuss here, gender plays a major role in someone's ability to become addicted.
1. Body type
Typically, women are much more likely than men to become addicted to drugs and will usually do so at a much faster rate. Two reasons this happens include the amount of water men and women hold in their bodies and their different metabolism rates. According to the USGS Water Science School, men's bodies are typically 60 percent water. In women, that number stands around 55 percent. Partly a result of body composition, women also have 5 to 10 percent lower energy expenditure than men. Energy expenditure is the amount of calories burned for metabolic needs.
2. Symptom differences
Not all substance abusers exhibit the same symptoms, which is why treatment strategies for each person must differ. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, women tend to have more anxiety disorders and panic attacks when taking, for example, marijuana than men. Men, on the other hand, tend to suffer from antisocial personality disorders and have more problems with other substances.
3. Illness and treatment course
According to the Psychiatric Times, the "course of illness," is much different for men and women until they reach treatment. At that point, both men and women face similar health conditions. "In general," the Psychiatric Times reported, "females advance more rapidly than males from use to regular use to first treatment episode." After treatment has begun, females are also more likely to "average more medical, psychiatric, and adverse social consequences" as a result of substance abuse than men do.
This is telling information and something that treatment centers must consider. The path of addiction and recovery is different for men and women and therefore treatment plans must be adjusted accordingly.
For those dealing with substance abuse, consider Fairwinds Treatment Center. Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of substance abuse by using a Dual Diagnosis approach. In using this tactic, Dr. El-Yousef and his staff of full-time psychiatrists, nursing professionals and licensed therapists work to first diagnosis the underlying reason behind a person's disorder. Upon understanding the cause, they can then treat the condition and its symptoms.