Although alcohol processes through the body in the same way, it can affect men and women in different ways.
While there are a lot of things men and women share in common, what alcohol does to us is not really one of those. There’s a fundamental difference in how the sexes experience alcohol and its effects from the physical side to the mental.
Does Alcohol Affect Men and Women the Same Way?
Before we jump into the effects of alcohol and their differences, it’s worth pointing out that more men drink than women do.
A study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) fittingly called ‘Gender Differences in the Epidemiology of Alcohol Use and Related Harms in the United States’ points out that “alcohol consumption has long been a male-dominated activity. Globally, men consume more alcohol and account for more alcohol-related harms to self and others than women do.”
With respect to America, they add that “males drinkers tend to drink more often and more heavily than females do, consuming nearly three times as much pure alcohol per year (19.0 liters for males, 6.7 liters for females).”
In terms of effects, let’s start with the worst of the lot: death.
That same study by the NIAAA shines a light on some tragic figures:
- In 2017, 72,558 death certificates listed alcohol as a factor – 54,486 were men
- 93,296 people died from alcohol-related causes between 2011 and 2015 – 66,519 were men
- The rate of death from alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver is more than twice as high for men
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) bring some more heavy-hitting differences in alcohol use between men and women, some of which directly affect other people:
- Among drivers in fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes, men are 50% more likely to have been intoxicated.
- Males are more than three times as likely to die by suicide than females and more likely to have been drinking prior to suicide.
- Excessive alcohol use can interfere with testicular function and male hormone production, resulting in erectile dysfunction and infertility.
Alcohol is also very well known to increase aggression, something that’s not unfamiliar to see in bars around the country. But that aggression doesn’t stay at the bar. It can come home and end in assault or sexual violence.
Excessive alcohol use also increases the risk for certain cancers, the CDC explicitly mentioning “mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon, which are more common among men. Drinking alcohol also increases the risk of prostate cancer.”
How To Get Help with An Alcohol Addiction If You Are a Man
So, to sum up, does alcohol affect men and women the same?
It most certainly does not.
To make a long, excruciating story short, alcohol takes a lot from men. It is, of course, a devastator for women as well, but the effects are disproportionately skewed.
Given that, how can a man like you, or a man that you may be concerned about, get help with an addiction to alcohol?
By seeking treatment at a rehab center that focuses on your needs.
As we mentioned at the top, Twilight Recovery rehab offers 30-, 60- and 90-day residential treatment programs based squarely on your needs.
Being in a place where you can truly be seen and genuinely understood. A place where you feel comfortable with being vulnerable and open can be a literal gamechanger.