Both men and women struggle with addiction and alcoholism, but statistics show that men are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol and struggle with a substance use disorder than women. However, women are more likely to seek treatment earlier than men.
There are many barriers that stop men from seeking addiction treatment and getting the help that they need. Here are 5 barriers for men struggling with addiction and how to overcome them.
1. He is the Breadwinner and Bears Financial Responsibility for His Family
In houses where the man is the primary financial provider, a man who is struggling with addiction may avoid getting professional help because he feels as though he won’t be able to provide for his family while in treatment.
Data reported by CNBC in March 2022 estimate that 64% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Families who depend on a man as the sole breadwinner may be unable to miss a paycheck without forgoing things like food, electricity, or gas. This places a lot of pressure on many men struggling with addiction, and it may stop them from seeking rehab.
The solution? Many men can benefit from an outpatient rehab program or a nighttime IOP. These flexible addiction treatment programs can be scheduled during hours outside of work, allowing men to keep their job while going to rehab.
2. His Friends Drink and Party, So He Thinks He Can, Too
Drinking alcohol is a huge part of American culture. It is often found at social events like BBQs, weddings, festivals, parties, and other gatherings. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), 59,1% of men ages 18 and older drank in the last month.
If a man has a problem with alcohol, but his friends and family like to drink and party, he may not recognize that he has a problem. Or, he may be hesitant to seek help because he thinks that if he gets sober, he will no longer fit in with the people around him.
It’s important to reassure loved ones that you would rather them be sober and healthy than struggling with an addiction just to fit in. Let them know you will still love them even if they get sober.
3. He is Embarrassed About His Addiction and Doesn’t Want to Seem “Weak”
Society places a lot of pressure on men to be “masculine” or “strong.” This has caused men to feel as though personal difficulties such as difficulty coping with mental illness or controlling substance abuse are signs of weakness. Unfortunately, this notion only furthers the stigma that men face when it comes to addiction. Because a man may not want to be perceived as weak, he may feel shame and embarrassment about his addiction, stopping him from seeking treatment.
4. He is in Denial About Having a Drug or Alcohol Problem in the First Place
The fears of appearing weak or unmasculine or being unable to care for one’s family can push a man into denial. He may begin denying that he has a problem with drugs or alcohol altogether, or downplaying the nature of his problem. He may use excuses like, “it’s not that bad,” or, “I have everything under control and can stop whenever I want,” but when push comes to shove, he ends up choosing drugs or alcohol over the things in life that are more important.
If a man is in denial and refuses to get help, it may be time to stage an addiction intervention. Interventions are extremely effective processes that help people recognize the gravity of their situation and the importance of seeking treatment.
5. He is Fearful of Being Vulnerable Around Others
Toxic masculinity is real and often prevents men from seeking the mental and behavioral support they need. A man may recognize that he has an addiction and even agree to go to rehab, but once he gets there, he may shut down and be reluctant to express his feelings, thoughts, and past behaviors with a counselor and his peers. This refusal to become vulnerable and honest can prevent true healing because therapy and recovery require honesty and transparency.
Overcoming this barrier is up to the man himself, but two things that can help are finding a therapist that he trusts or participating in a gender-specific program that is uniquely designed for men.
Overcoming the Barriers that Men Face in Addiction Treatment
Many of the barriers that stop men from seeking rehab can be overcome with a phone call or visit with an addiction specialist. For example, the qualified team at Woburn Wellness understands how difficult it can be to ask for help as well as the concerns people have when it comes to treatment. They aim to educate prospective patients about the disease of addiction, what rehab is like, and what it takes to stay in recovery.
Addiction isn’t something to be ashamed about, and seeking treatment doesn’t have to be something that derails your life. Addiction is a disease–not a weakness or moral failing. With the right treatment and personalized care, anyone can recover.
Find Help Now
If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it’s time to explore the options that are available to know. Call Woburn Wellness today to speak with an admissions counselor about starting treatment.