Men’s Health Month is an important time to shed light on the unique challenges and statistics surrounding men in recovery from substance use disorders. According to cultural standards and societal pressures, men are expected to be powerful, courageous, and in control. So, men in recovery frequently struggle with asking for help and obtaining treatment. However, even after these guys seek assistance and finish therapy, they may confront several challenges in their recovery.

Masculinity has become linked with avoiding or dismissing suffering, trauma, mental health concerns, and addiction. These harmful and excessive standards foster the belief that “being a man” entails never needing help, never struggling, and confessing to a problem as a show of weakness or loss.

To sustain recovery, men must stay linked to a strong support system and let go of societally driven harmful thinking. Men may be more vulnerable to relapse if these gender-specific risk factors are not addressed.

What Are Mens Issues in Recovery? Challenges They Face

Substance or alcohol abuse is a deeply rooted habit of behavior that can last for years or even decades. It’s an unhealthy way of coping with other challenges, such as trauma or mental illness.

Addiction is never simple for anyone, but each experience’s exact problems vary by age, gender, and personal history. Men, for example, confront unique hurdles when recovering from addiction.

Men Are Inherently More Likely to Turn to Alcohol or Substances

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, men abuse alcohol and illegal drugs more than women.

Women are still stigmatized more than males for using drugs and alcohol. Because, in reality, drinking alcohol has always been associated with masculinity. Men are more likely to drink and take drugs with their friends, whereas women are more likely to be introduced to illegal drugs by an intimate partner, limiting their exposure.

Men are more likely than women to use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate mental health difficulties. There’s a psychological difference between man and woman, as the former tends to turn to substances to cope rather than pursuing a dual diagnosis program. Many men in recovery struggle to stay sober because they lack the necessary support. 1

Regardless of the hurdles they experience, everyone in recovery can achieve long-term sobriety. It all boils down to accessing appropriate addiction resources and aftercare programs.

Men Are Less Likely to Be Open & Vulnerable

According to a Men’s Health Magazine survey, 65% of respondents reported experiencing mental health challenges. Specifically, 58% identified with depression, 66% with anxiety, and 24% with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Having one of these mental health conditions increases your risk for addictive behaviors, which may increase your risk of developing mental health conditions.

Many men believe that seeking help for a substance abuse problem is a sign of weakness or that they can’t deal with their difficulties.

When men seek help, it’s frequently due to legal problems or engagement in a drug court. Men may eventually agree to get therapy because of challenges at work or disruptions in their personal life. It’s difficult to recuperate if someone is unwilling to seek treatment or even admit he has a problem.

Men Feel a Lack of Support

Although there are gender differences in substance use disorders, support networks are critical for both men and women in recovery. However, some studies suggest that men are less likely than women to maintain a social network.

A sober living program can assist men in developing and cultivating a healthy social support group during their program. Building a peer or family support system can also teach men how to ask for, accept, and offer help to others.

Considering societal pressures, cultural norms, and beliefs, men often hesitate to seek therapy and confront their mental health issues. There is an urgent need to develop men-friendly mental health treatment choices.

At Blanchard Institute, we understand the courage it takes to begin the journey toward sobriety. Our dedicated team of therapists, physicians, counselors, and change agents provides a safe and supportive environment for men in recovery. We offer evidence-based programs, free virtual community groups, and educational resources to empower individuals, families, and communities affected by substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health conditions.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you during your recovery process!