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Why drugs’ impact on men and women vary

Why drugs’ impact on men and women vary

Just like different drugs trigger varied effects on the brain, their impact also differ based on gender. Despite being an important factor that needs to be taken into account to understand the problem of drug abuse, the latter factor has not gained much attention. As per trends, while males are prone to marijuana and alcohol abuse, women are more likely to report the nonmedical use of prescription drugs.

The adequate knowledge about the association between gender and consequences of drugs plays a crucial role in the structuring of an effective treatment plan. Besides physiological differences, many other factors are responsible for triggering different effects on males, such as early exposure to drugs, excessive and regular consumption of substances, etc. Moreover, the distinctive pattern of addiction in males and females displays differences in their motivation to use, susceptibility to addiction, and response to pharmacological and psychological treatment.

While most of the men consume drugs or other substances when feeling good, women normally use them for self-medication purposes. It was also found that females aged 18 to 24 are more likely to abuse amphetamine or methamphetamine than their male counterparts. Furthermore, women tend to internalize their emotions and men tend to externalize their problems by indulging in impulsive actions, such as drug abuse. Several studies have highlighted that the difference in terms of hormones, body composition and metabolism increases sensitivity to drugs. Therefore, it is essential to understand such discrepancies for providing better treatment to patients.

Certain drugs stay longer in women body

The effects of drugs vary considerably in both men and women. Though a man may consume the same amount of alcohol as that of a woman, they may witness different effects. Moreover, both women and men are likely to experience different repercussions depending on the type of drug, such as depressants, hallucinogens, narcotics, stimulants etc.

According to a study by the journal Scientific American, different types of drugs cause diverse reactions on both the genders. The research highlighted that opioid-related drugs like prescription painkillers trigger compared to women trigger lesser effects on men. This is why they often end up overdosing on such pills. While in the case of women, they derive greater pain relief from opioid painkillers because of the level of estrogen, which fluctuates during menstrual cycles and helps them regulate pain response.

In the case of antidepressants, women respond better to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and men to tricyclics. Since women have less binding capacity in their blood, they stand more vulnerable to some antidepressants. Moreover, the comparatively less acidic stomach of women makes the absorption rate of SSRIs faster and more powerful than men who can expunge the drug in a short span of time. Besides the above factors, antidepressants stay longer in a woman’s body due to their body fat. Therefore, women stand an increased risk of experiencing toxicity compared to men.

Effects of drugs on male fertility

Besides causing a substantial impact on a male’s brain, another concern regarding the effects of drugs is on their fertility. Drugs of different kinds can influence a man differently. Some of such repercussions are mentioned below:

  • Heavy intake of alcohol can decrease the production of natural testosterone and increase a man’s estrogen levels.
  • Both prescribed and illegal opiates can cause low testosterone and decrease the quantity and quality of the sperm.
  • Marijuana decreases sperm production, lessens sexual drive and effects sperm movement.
  • SSRIs can prevent the proper movement of sperm through the reproductive tract.
  • The medications used to treat prostate enlargement and hair loss may cause a decrease in the volume of the semen and the total number of sperm in the semen.
  • Anabolic steroids impact male fertility in the same way as testosterone.

Road to recovery

Rather than sticking to the conventional form of treatment, it is essential to customize treatment where such distinctions are considered. This will assist medical practitioners in increasing the pace of recovery. It is essential that patients are educated about such repercussions on one-to-one basis to avoid adverse consequences. People addicted to substances are recommended to share their fears and inhibitions with their consultant or loved ones to overcome the problem.

If you or your loved one has developed an addiction to any drug, contact the Texas Drug Addiction Treatment for information on the best drug addiction treatment centers in Texas. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-5757 or chat online to know more about the customized treatment plans offered by drug rehabilitation centers in Texas.

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