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Men and Drugs - The Facts

From 16-24 years to aged 75 plus, men displayed signs of drug addiction more than women.

 

Over four per cent, all men are dependent on drugs, as compared to two per cent of all women.

 

Out of the men and women admitted to hospital for drug-related mental and behavioural disorders, seventy-four per cent were male.

 

A staggering Seventy-four per cent of deaths related to drug poisoning and misuse were men.

 

Men were nearly twice as likely than women to report using cannabis, powder cocaine, ecstasy and a new psychoactive substance in the last year.

 

Around eleven per cent of Black men are disproportionately affected by drug dependence, mainly cannabis.

 

Eighty-nine per cent of all young people in treatment in a secure environment were male – the most commonly used substance was cannabis, followed by alcohol than cocaine.

The NHS statistics show that 18% of all secondary school age boys and girls were equally likely to have taken drugs in the past year.

At 17+, there are around 3 times more boys in secure treatment than girls.  In terms of drug dependence, this pattern then extends into adulthood. 

Risk-taking behaviour is a very significant factor. Dr Adam Winstock, a psychiatrist and the founder of the Global Drugs Survey, says: “The higher rates of drug use we see among men compound a gender disadvantage we have from birth. We get into accidents more regularly, we have more unhealthy lifestyles, we die earlier, and we have less insight into our health and wellbeing. We’re generally predisposed to engage in a whole bunch of risky behaviours while being physiologically less equipped to deal with them.”

Dr Winstock also points to more societal stigma and shame around women taking drugs. Additional factors such as pregnancy and motherhood, economic status and less criminal activity amongst women also reduce female drug use and exposure to drugs, as compared to their male counterparts.

If you’re a man who is finding it hard to talk about drug addiction, a simple way to start a conversation is with UKAT about addiction treatment as they can give you some ideas about what to do next.