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Gender Gap in Addiction Treatment: Does it Exist?

We can see that there is a huge gender gap in addiction treatment in this country. There are simply far more men who are addicted to drugs and alcohol than there are women.

Facts About the Gender Gap in Addiction Treatment

The numbers don’t lie, and SAMHSA, NIDA,  NIAAA, and the NSDUH has presented the nation with a variety of data on this issue.  For example:

  • There are currently more alcohol addicts in the United States than people who are addicted to all of the different types of drugs combined.  Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance by far even more common than marijuana. There are over 16 million adults 18-years-of-age and older, that are alcohol addicts.  This statistic include10.8 million men and 5.8 million women.
  • The only demographic where there are more female addicts than male addicts are when it comes to underage alcoholism.  Underage drinking in an addictive or abusive fashion is a critical issue in the US today and is getting worse. American youth from the ages of 12 to 20 have an estimated 697,000 adolescents with a severe alcohol addiction crisis of some kind type.  This number includes more women than men with an alarming 385,000 females and only 311,000 males.  It’s not a big difference, but considering the fact that every other category has more male addicts than female, this is quite concerning, to say the least.
  • Men have a much higher likelihood of abusing drugs than women.  This is almost always the case.  More men die from drugs than women.  But far more men abuse drugs compared to women. In fact, women have a higher statistical likelihood of dying from drug abuse than men do, but there are not nearly as many female drug users as male drug users.
  • More male addicts than female addicts seek treatment in this country.  About 1.5 million adults received treatment for addiction at a specialized facility in the year of 2014.  But this was only about 8.9 percent of the adults who needed treatment for such an addiction.  This number included no less than 1.1 million men (9.8 percent of men in need) and 431,000 women, (7.4 percent of women who needed treatment).

What This Means for Rehab Centers

The grim result of this gender gap in addiction treatment has been the fact that women do not get the same level of care that men do.  What has this done in the long run?  It has made for a level of hardship and severity for female addicts that is to be frowned upon.

This has led to higher relapse rates for women than for men.  If this is going to be leveled out, then rehab centers will have to start structuring their programs for women just as much as for men.  At A Forever Recovery, we offer unique treatment options for men and women both, and there is no gender gap here.  Call us today.

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