Addiction is widely misunderstood. The worst misconception about addiction is the general understanding of the issue. Professionals state that addiction is a disease, which is characterized by chronic drug searching and consuming. Addicts continue to search and consume drugs even when they understand the damage they are causing themselves and others around them. The compulsive action to engage in addictive behavior is misunderstood as a control or moral issue. Addiction is not caused by weak morals, strength or self-control. Drugs and alcohol have different effects on different people. Research has proven that addiction is a matter of physical dependence combined with environment and family history. An addiction gene has yet to be discovered and proven, but science and professionals believe they are close. For example, a history of family addiction can increase a person’s likelihood of developing an addiction. Various studies are constantly performed to better understand addiction. One study in particular by the Journal of Abnormal Psychology has found that men are more likely to develop an addiction than women. That does not mean that addiction issues are gender specific, but adds some insight to the mystery of addiction.
Comprehensive Study on Drug Abuse
The study conducted interviews with 43,000 adults. These individuals where not institutionalized. The study found that men were more likely to express their negative emotions: depression and anxiety. The way they expressed these emotions, while not bottling them up which is dangerous, was through drinking and experimenting with drugs. Women on the other hand were diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Although, they did not choose to deal with those issues; instead they used drugs and alcohol to cope. These results coincide with other studies similar in nature. The study shows that when men deal with issues of depression or anxiety, for example, they are more likely to go into ‘fix’ mode. Men search and try to solve problems on their own. This leads them to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs; whereas, women are more likely to look inwards at themselves. They try to understand why they feel such a way, which leads them to be depressed and anxious. As a result, women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression and anxiety by their medication professional.
Conclusions of These and Other Studies
The conclusions of these studies and others of its kind are not conclusive. Men and women both experience the same issues throughout their lives. Feelings of depression, anxiety and stress are common in everyone’s life. The chemical makeup of women and men differ in various ways, which pushes them to address those negative emotions in different ways. Women are more likely to internalize their problems and search for the reasons for their emotions. When they are unable to rectify those negative issues they seek professional help. This often leads to prescriptions for depression and anxiety, which are very dangerous. Men, conversely, are external when dealing with these emotions. They search for a ‘cure’. They are more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol to solve their issues of stress and depression. By self-medicating with drugs and alcohol males are more likely to develop addictions. Women on the other hand, using prescription drugs, could be more susceptible to prescription drug abuse as a result of obtaining those prescriptions. These studies show that men are more likely to develop addictions because they turn to drugs and alcohol to solve their problems, while women internalize those issues. The best way to address issues of depression and anxiety is through healthy, natural remedies. If you or someone you know is suffering from stress, depression or anxiety, seek help. Talking about those issues can help. Exercise and healthy eating can be useful. Drugs, prescription or illegal, and alcohol are dangerous ways to deal with any negative emotion.