Gender contributes to how a person goes face to face with addiction. It is also a factor that the way men think is different from how a woman does. While addiction is a problem with both genders, the reason behind their addiction differs from each sex. In general, men and women experience addiction but vary in the situation, a type of drug used and the reason why they use that particular substance. Moreover, unique individuals as they are, how they react to the situation and through addiction vary from their personalities and beliefs.

While addiction is not a gender-specific disease, it is right to check the differences of the gender-based on how they react given the same situation.

Addiction for Men

Men are most likely to abuse drugs and other addictive substances. They tend to abuse drugs and alcohol to increase their good feelings and to cope with their social problems. The status of being a man sometimes hinders them to express their emotions to avoid discrimination and avoidance of what other people might say. Sometimes that can cause a man to become depressed, and it can also cause higher levels of stress which can drive them into addiction.

Addiction for Women

Factors such as trauma and mental health problem are the reasons why women fall into abusing a certain substance. Women are more prone to stress because they are more emotional than men, prone to painkillers to which, if taken carelessly, could result in an overdose.

According to the study by the University of Illinois, the start of women’s addiction comes from their relationship with men. They are most likely to develop an addiction because of an abusive relationship. Another reason is their biology as a woman, although the percentage of getting addicted is lower compared to men, a woman gets addicted much faster. Women can also feel pressure from work and society.

Substance that both Men and Women Use

Men and women are likely to abuse stimulants such as cocaine. Their reaction to the substance contributes to their overall abuse of it. Women are more emotional than men; this could also explain why women are more prone to depend on substances and are more prone to relapse when they start recovering.

Women are more likely to receive a prescription or opioids because they are more likely to chronic pain conditions. Sometimes using prescription opioids can end up being fatal, resulting in a trip to the emergency room.

Most men are subject to abusing marijuana more than women. Men are far more likely to develop a dependence on smoking/using marijuana.

Common Signs of Addiction

Severe Mood Swings
Severe mood swings are often associated with addiction. Mood swings in men suffering from addiction are actually far more frequent and intense when compared to women. These mood swings can also be a sign that the person has developed a mental illness and it’s best to talk to a therapist/professional as soon as possible.

Unexplained changes in Behavior
This is a tell-tale sign that someone is suffering from addiction. Others may see these changes in behavior and turn a blind eye, but true friends will notice when someone is not being themselves.

Neglecting Responsibility
When it comes to addiction in both men and women, both genders share this change in behavior. Addiction often leads people to become more selfish and focused on their substance of choice. This results in neglecting responsibilities at work, home, and school. Their focus is overtaken by their desire to consume the substance they are addicted to.

Unhealthy Relationship
For someone who may have been suffering from addiction, an unhealthy relationship could very well be the reason for their behaviors. This could be an unhealthy romantic relationship or even an unhealthy friendship.

Changes in Appearance
For some people, addiction tends to change their physique and overall appearance. A person may be thin before but become chubbier or vice versa. Substances can create a very unhealthy lifestyle, typically resulting in a very thin physique or even a chubbier physique. This can be due to a lack of eating or overeating while under the influence.

Addiction Treatment for Men and Women

Men are more likely to engage in treatment when a family member, loved one, friend, or employer tells them that they need help, but they are less likely to admit that they may struggle with mental health problems. Women, on the other hand, delay seeking treatment due to society around them. Because of family responsibility, they sometimes withdraw their treatment.
Because of the difference between men and women, different treatments will garner different results. Different treatments will cater to the individual’s preferences and needs in order to ensure long-term sobriety.


Most women tend to have more problems with relapse when compared to men because of the societal pressures that surround the female gender. Some women need a driving force that says they can do it, without those it will be a struggle for them. On the other hand, men can better themselves with their desire and passion. However, both genders need a little push whenever it comes to recovery. At the end of the day, men and women are completely different from each other. But that doesn’t mean that their drive to recover is different. At the end of the day, no one actually wants to be stuck in addiction, they want to get out. Whatever substance a person is addicted to, whatever situation they’re in, whatever reason they have for abusing drugs/alcohol, a person does not want to live a life chained to substance abuse. Addiction is a nasty habit that forms into a disease, but it is a disease that can be cured.

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center® holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.