08 Nov Are Men Or Women More Likely To Develop A Drug Addiction?
Whether you’ve used drugs or not, you are already well aware that drugs are illegal. Further, any sort of drug use can lead to addiction, abuse, bodily harm, and legal trouble. While anyone can potentially become addicted to drugs, it’s interesting to consider whether men or women are more prone to develop a drug addiction in the State of Georgia.
Luckily, Georgia is full of treatment centers for men, as well as women treatment centers. Therefore, if the individual wants to get help, there are options—regardless of a person’s sex. It should be helpful to learn that women with addictions and men with addictions can get the help they need.
This article will provide information on drug abuse, both cocaine and alcohol-related. Yet, you will also learn about addiction in both men and women, how to read the signs of addiction, and finally, getting treatment for drug abuse in Georgia to life with your addiction.
A Look into Cocaine Abuse
Did you know that according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 14 percent of all Americans age 12 and older have used cocaine in their lifetime? This is an astounding statistic that should scare you. You may also not know that cocaine is highly addictive. Therefore, when individuals use the drug—even just a few times—the risk of using again is high. Once someone gains an addiction to cocaine, kicking the habit can be particularly difficult.
Specifically, cocaine is an illegal drug that is highly addictive and negatively affects the brain and central nervous system. The drug helps to keep people awake for longer periods of time, while at the same time, causing their heart rate and blood pressure to increase. More times than not, a person’s feelings if pleasure can also become peaked while high on cocaine.
More times than not, cocaine comes in two different forms:
A powder form, which can be snorted, injected or smoked.
A rock formation that is often smoked, known as crack cocaine.
When a person becomes addicted to cocaine and starts abusing it, the following symptoms may become noticeable:
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Changes in eating patterns
- White residue/substance under the nose
- White residue/substance around the mouth
- Burn marks on the hands
- Burn marks on the lips
- Bloody nose
- A sudden trouble with finances
- Loss of interest in certain things
- An increased need or want for privacy
- Dilated Pupils
- A Runny Nose
- Significant Weight Loss
- Random Mood Swings
- Social Isolation
- Risky or Unsafe Behavior
- Uncharacteristic Boost in Confidence
- Overly Talkative
It should be noted that the symptoms listed above do not guarantee cocaine abuse is happening. For example, a friend or someone close to you may have more than their share of bloody noses, yet, that doesn’t automatically mean a cocaine problem is present.
If this is your friend or loved one, then you likely know them pretty well. Use your best judgment: Do you think something is wrong? If you honestly feel as if a drug problem is unfolding, then find out more information. Or, depending on how close you two are, simply ask them if they need help.
Cocaine does not take long to affect the brain once consumed. Yet, because of this fact, that also means that a cocaine high does not last that long, prompting the individual to use again. Not only will this individual likely use again, but he or she will probably use again rather quickly. Particularly, a cocaine high has been known to last between 5 to 30 minutes, depending on how much of the drug is consumed and over what kind of time period. Therefore, when a person is using, he or she can and likely will use multiple times in one day or night.
When a person has become exposed to cocaine, he or she may become more talkative and energetic, have a boost in confidence, lack an appetite, and avoid sleep, all of which have been mentioned above. Though, following the high, a crash period almost always takes place.
Not only does a person risk their mental and physical health by abusing cocaine, but the way in which they choose to consume the drug can also result in a different kind of damage to his or her body. There are many long-term effects of abusing cocaine that many people are unaware of. Those who shoot cocaine using needles instead of snort it is more likely to contract HIV or hepatitis C. This is due to the fact that sharing needles, especially dirty ones, commonly leads to disease. Blood poisoning is also a possibility. Long-term health consequences that can arise from cocaine use and abuse include hallucinations, a decreased appetite resulting in malnourishment, paranoia, and gastrointestinal effects.
A Look into Alcohol Abuse
It’s pretty common that anyone 21-years-old can purchase alcohol. Therefore, due to the fact that alcohol is easily accessible, it can be argued that alcohol abuse takes place more regularly than drug abuse. Not to be confused, though, abuse of both is damaging in different ways.
More often than not, when a person abuses alcohol, he or she keeps drinking, even though they have a firm grasp of the negative effect it has on them. When a person is addicted to alcohol, they generally drink it every single day, believing that they can’t function without it. When this occurs, the person is “depending” on alcohol to get through the day.
Just like with drug abuse, there are signs that could indicate someone is experiencing alcohol abuse, such as the following:
- Neglecting responsibilities—both personal and family
- A decline in professional performance (or academic performance if the individual is still in school)
- Signs of depression
- Unnatural conflicts
- The inability to control drinking
- The inability to stop drinking
- Increasing the consumption of alcohol
- Putting themselves or other people in danger by drinking (i.e. drinking and driving)
- Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when not drinking
Greater Risk for Addiction: Men or Women?
Men and women are completely different—emotionally, physically, and perhaps most of all, mentally. Therefore, it should come as no great surprise that drug abuse and addiction works differently in each gender.
Again, both men and women can become addicted to both drugs and alcohol. However, it has been reported that men are more likely than women to use drugs, especially drugs that can result in an overdose, like cocaine. More specifically, men are more likely to use illegal drugs than women.
Yet, women, too, are likely to abuse the drug. Further, women are more susceptible to craving drugs, as well as relapsing to drugs once the addiction or abuse has been dealt with.
To give a clearer understanding, here is a breakdown of various facts regarding drug usage with both men and women.
Men are more likely to:
- Start using drugs at an earlier age
- Abuse drugs more often women do
- Are likely to abuse alcohol, heroin, and marijuana
Women are more likely to:
- Relapse and use drugs again
- Seek treatment from a doctor
- Abuse alcohol and prescription drugs
Though seeking treatment from drug abuse is important, it can only successfully be done when a person truly wants help and believes he or she needs help.
The following are facts regarding men and women and the idea of treatment.
Men are more likely to:
- Delay seeking treatment because of their work obligations
- Agree to treatment when it’s ordered by the court, their employer, or a close family member
- Ignore and not admit mental health issues
Women are more likely to:
- Avoid treatment so as not to be considered a bad wife or mother
- Consider treatment, but only after something damaging has occurred, like an overdose
- Ignore treatment in order to fulfill family obligations
It is time to seek treatment if you or someone you know has become addicted to drugs (i.e. cocaine) and/or alcohol, or feel as if an addiction could occur. Lucky for you, there are so many treatment centers in Georgia available. Before enrolling in a treatment plan, it’s important to note that you or the one who has the addiction has to want to get better in order for it to work.
When the final decision is made to quit drugs and/or alcohol, withdrawal symptoms is likely to happen. Getting clean will be difficult. You must understand that detox will be part of the process. Though difficult, it is not impossible. Remember, if you want to get better, you can.
First, you will need to find a facility that can address your specific needs. You are not searching for group assistance, but a facility that can cater to you and your needs. You will want to visit different options, ask questions, meet the staff, read reviews, and if possible, talk with patients who have the first-hand experience.
Each rehab facility has different offerings including inpatient and outpatient care. When choosing a rehab facility, it’s important you find one that caters to you and your individual situation. For more severe addictions, an inpatient program may be the best solution for you.
How to Avoid Addiction
Easier said than done, but if at all possible, the best way to ensure an addiction doesn’t occur, is to avoid it from happening. Many drugs, including cocaine and alcohol, are easy to become addicted to, even if only tried once or twice. Therefore, not trying them at all, and avoiding situations where they may be present, is best.
Further, the following tips could potentially help you or someone you know from becoming addicted to drugs and/or alcohol:
- Always say NO—no matter what the circumstances are
- Stay away from negative people, situations, and influences
- Manage your stress in a healthy way, perhaps with exercise
- Build strong, healthy relationships that don’t involve drug use
- Have goals, and always be working towards those goals
- If you start to become interested in drugs, recognize the signs
Seeking Treatment from Drugs and/or Alcohol
If you want to achieve sobriety, then finding a rehab center that fits you and your needs will be a necessary part of the process. Depending on your current dependency on drugs and/or alcohol, it could be both dangerous and difficult to battle the addiction alone.
The State of Georgia offers many options when it comes to choosing a sobriety program. To ensure you find the best option for you, you will need to do some research, such as examine or audit the program, read reviews, speak to individuals who have experienced the program, and meet the staff.
It is best to find a program that is customized, one that will adhere to your specific illness. You want to be treated as an individual. It will also be necessary to get a good understanding of what the rehab facility stands for—what are their goals and/or motives? If you don’t get the answer to these questions, you may not get the appropriate treatment for recovery.
Finally, be mindful of the price of the center and whether or not your insurance will cover it. You do not want to add further stress to your life, which could potentially cause a relapse with drugs and/or alcohol. It goes without saying that the center or facility will be expensive, possibly even overwhelmingly expensive. If your insurance does not cover the cost or full cost, do not be discouraged. Not only will there be many options to choose from, but most facilities want to help and will find a way to do so. Therefore, keep an open mind. Treatments are available, and with a little bit of research, you will find one for you and your needs.
Stay Positive, Get Help
Remember, it’s never too late to get help. Regardless of what has happened, what kind of legal or health trouble that has occurred, it’s never too late to get help and start a new life. Stay positive, and always know that recovery is possible. Further, never be afraid to ask for and seek help. You don’t have to face this next chapter alone.
“Sex and Gender Differences in Substance Use.” NIDA. 15 Mar. 2019. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/substance-use-in-women/sex-gender-differences-in-substance-use
“Street Names and Nicknames for Cocaine.” Rehabs.com. 15 Mar. 2019. https://luxury.rehabs.com/cocaine-addiction/street-names-and-nicknames
“What Is Cocaine?” NIDA. 15 Mar. 2019. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-cocaine
Thomas, Scot. “Signs of Cocaine Abuse.” American Addiction Centers. 15 Mar. 2019. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/cocaine-treatment/signs
Lautieri, Amanda. “Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline and Treatment.” American Addiction Centers. 15 Mar. 2019. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/cocaine-treatment/signs