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While there is no discrimination when it comes to substance abuse across different demographics, it’s interesting to understand how it can affect both males and females. Do both genders respond to addiction the same way, or is one sex more susceptible to dealing with bigger obstacles when it comes to recovery? Our addiction specialists explain how gender and addiction are related and the common differences amongst males and females. Banyan Treatment Center provides substance abuse treatment for all who suffer and our programming is customized to meet the needs of each patient.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, illicit drug use is more likely to result in emergency department visits or overdose deaths for men than for women.  Even though men have higher rates of substance abuse, women are just as likely to develop an addiction.
While men tend to abuse drugs more frequently and at an earlier age, females are known to develop an addiction quicker than men. Women respond differently to certain drugs because of the brain chemistry makeup and the impact that the female sex hormones have on the susceptibility to abusing drugs. It’s important to realize that the presence of mental health issues, such as mood disorders and anxiety disorders, are higher in females. This can predispose them to addiction.
Why do men have higher rates of substance abuse over women? Research suggests that men start to experiment with drugs at an earlier age because they have more opportunities than women. They start to hang out with older kids who may heavily influence their decision to try multiple drugs for the first time.
Additionally, both men and women respond differently to addiction treatment. Women tend to face more obstacles when it comes to treatment with the possibility of pregnancy occurring or the need to provide childcare. Rehab involves escaping from reality for a certain time period and men tend to respond to this better than women. Women are also less likely to seek treatment themselves and admit that they have a serious issue. 
 NIH, Sex and Gender Differences in Substance Abuse
 NIH, Gender and Use of Substance Abuse Treatment Services