Why Are Men at Greater Risk of Alcoholism?

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Why Are Men at Greater Risk of Alcoholism?

Although women consume less alcohol than men, alcohol use disorder (AUD) can affect both men and women in different ways. Many professionals have proved that men are at a greater risk of developing problems with alcoholism. Not many individuals understand the background of AUD. This includes who is at an increased risk of alcoholism and the mental and physical health risks involved as well. Taking time to understand AUD and exploring different treatment modalities can greatly improve an individual’s quality of life. 

Reaching out for professional and emotional support can provide a helpful sense of direction. Specialists are trained to assist individuals with different resources and proper guidance to successfully move forward from addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions. 

What Is Alcohol Use Disorder?

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, AUD is a chronic brain disease defined by having an impaired capability to completely stop consuming alcoholic beverages despite the many risks involved with drinking. AUD does encompass conditions such as typical alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, or addiction alone. Although alcoholism can be problematic for most individuals, AUD is a more severe condition. AUD typically develops with prolonged misuse of alcohol. Individuals with AUD may experience employment issues, social problems, and severe health consequences due to misusing alcohol. 

Who Is at Risk of Alcoholism and AUD?

As stated in Life Sciences, the act of misusing alcohol has been one of the major medical ailments that afflict both men and women today. Although men present an increased prevalence of developing an addiction to alcohol, it was stated that women are at a much greater risk of facing challenges with bodily damage due to alcoholism. Bodily damage may include intense organ and brain damage due to chronic alcohol abuse. It has been clinically proven that both men and women are at risk for negative biological and psychosocial impacts. Several growth factors and numerous neurotransmitters have been theoretically involved in the differences between both biological sexes. This may include: 

  • Genetics
  • Neurological abnormalities
  • Personality characteristics
  • Deviance proneness

What Are the Risks of Alcoholism?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are several risks involved with binge drinking. Based on recent studies, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol has led to approximately 140,000 deaths. Between the years of 2015 and 2019, it was also estimated that a total of 3.6 million individuals have passed away due to alcoholism each year in the U.S. Taking time to understand the risks involved with alcoholism can work as a preventative measure in saving lives. Staying updated and educated on the condition can also spread awareness and potentially reduce relapse rates. 

Short-term health risks may include: 

  • Injuries, such as auto accidents falls, burns, and drownings
  • Violence, such as assault, homicide, suicide, domestic violence
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Miscarriage 

Long-term complications may consist of: 

  • Cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, liver disease, stroke
  • Different types of cancer
  • Weakened immune system
  • Academic problems and learning disabilities
  • Mental health problems
  • Relationships problems
  • Developing AUD

Treatment Modalities for Men at Risk of Alcoholism

Intense alcohol cravings and unwanted triggers can be problematic especially if left untreated. This may include environmental triggers, such as location and toxic relationships with others. Addiction not only affects the individual facing challenges but everyone else involved as well, including family. Individual psychotherapy and different behavioral therapies can aid individuals by teaching them the appropriate strategies and helpful skills to overcome the many challenges involved with alcoholism.

Depending on the severity of one’s condition, some practitioners prescribe prescription medications to help individuals refrain from drinking. Certain life tragedies can trigger an alcohol relapse. For example, a divorce, the death of a family member, or depression due to a physical disability can increase one’s urge to drink. Emotional and professional support provided by mental health professionals and trained addiction specialists can help individuals appropriately cope with stress to prevent potential alcohol relapse. 

Moving Forward From Alcoholism

Many men find that moving on from alcoholism can be difficult. Moving forward often involves making major life changes. This may include removing relationships with others who misuse substances, finding a healthy living environment, and consistently using the skills developed in therapy outside of treatment. Some facilities offer aftercare services to help individuals gain long-term sobriety from alcohol. 

There are many different avenues for ongoing support. Working with a peer recovery coach can lend a kind hand to those that need positive guidance moving forward. A recovery coach can teach men the best ways to respond to negative peer pressure as well. It is important for an individual to do what is instinctually right. Accepting support from loved ones may be challenging but close relationships can be mended with time. Choosing to confide in others can make a major positive impact on an individual’s journey through addiction as well.