Alcoholism is a dangerous condition, regardless of gender. Anybody can be affected by the consequences of alcohol poisoning, liver failure, or the social issues that stem from drinking. However, some of the distinctions between men and women make men more susceptible to certain alcohol-related risks. These factors are partly biological and partly social, and add up to a heightened likelihood for men to struggle with alcoholism more often than women.
The relationship between men and alcoholism is one that all of us would benefit from understanding. Knowing the specific way men tend to utilize alcohol, how their bodies metabolize it, and how addiction can cause severe negative consequences can help prevent the worst. At Greater Boston Addiction Centers, we understand the struggle of living with alcohol addiction. Our alcohol rehab near Boston, MA, is designed to accommodate the individual needs of every patient in order to ensure their recovery is comfortable and effective. Call us at 877.920.6583 today to learn how our alcohol addiction treatment program can make a difference in your life.
Why Men’s Alcohol Use Disorder Is Different
From a distance, men and women don’t differ too extremely in how alcohol is processed in the body. Given enough time, though, these subtle differences in how men and women treat and handle alcohol begin to result in drastically different outcomes. For instance, remember that alcohol is a liquid. When it enters the body, it disperses throughout the bloodstream. Men, who have lower body water to mass ratio than women, have less area to disperse that alcohol. As a result, alcohol becomes harder to regulate for men.
While this might seem like grounds for men being less likely to binge drink, the opposite is actually true. Men are more likely to drink significant amounts of alcohol in a relatively short period of time due to a combination of cultural factors that glamorize heavy drinking and the time it takes for heavy amounts of alcohol to begin to affect the body. When alcohol becomes harder to disperse, alcohol accumulation can sometimes lead to extreme bodily harm. In cases of binge drinking, where an intense concentration of alcohol can lead to liver failure, cardiac arrest, or death.
Long-Term Alcohol Abuse in Men
In addition to being at higher risk of heavy drinking, men are more susceptible to forming an alcohol addiction than women. While a single instance of binge drinking is enough to cause some serious health complications or result in adverse social consequences, doing so repeatedly for months or years only amplifies those risks. Men are more likely to become addicted to alcohol for two key reasons:
The release of dopamine, a neurochemical released to reward positive sensations, is consistently higher in men than in women when drinking socially. As a result, alcohol’s effects were more gratifying, which often initiates further drinking.
Males tend to experience diminishing returns on the dopamine rush of alcohol much faster than their female counterparts. That means a consistent diet of the same amount of alcohol will feel less rewarding faster for men. Drinking more alcohol is required to achieve the same results, which incentivizes heavy and frequent alcohol consumption.
It’s for these reasons that the discussion around men and alcoholism has received much attention—failing to take into account these differences makes for an incomplete understanding of how addiction affects us as individuals.
Begin Treating Alcoholism at Greater Boston Addiction Centers
It’s possible to stop habits from forming before they have a chance to cause serious harm. If you have noticed that alcohol is starting to change the way you act or think, there are steps worth taking to prevent alcoholism from setting in. The alcohol abuse treatment program at GBAC can help you overcome addiction, no matter your needs.
At Greater Boston Addiction Centers, we know everybody handles addiction differently. Understanding the relationship between men and alcoholism is a pillar of our gender-specific treatment. Our program is designed to take into account everything that makes you unique. Our team has years of experience and personal history walking paths like yours. Call us today at 877.920.6583 to learn how you can get started.