Men more likely to become addicts than women

Data reveals womens' addicitons are more serious.

Israeli alcoholic beverages 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Israeli alcoholic beverages 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Men are more likely than women to become addicted to drugs, alcohol and gambling but the same addictions among females are usually more severe, a study released Sunday by the Welfare and Social Affairs Ministry has revealed.
According to the figures, which were compiled from information collected from various day-care centers for addicts and those working out in the field, roughly 18,158 males received treatment in 2009 for addiction to drugs, gambling or alcohol in 2009, compared to 4,744 women.
However, while 80 percent of the country’s addicts were males, the research found that the compulsive addictions amongst females were far more deeply rooted and serious than among the men, with women addicts more likely to become totally dysfunctional. Many of the women treated for drug, alcohol or gambling addictions had also been victims of sexual exploitation as young adults or had experienced some form of sexual trauma during childhood.
The study found, however, that although the women were less motivated to seek help for their addictions, once they started receiving treatment they were generally more determined about it and their path to recovery was far smoother and quicker than that of their male counterparts.
Broken down, the data collected showed that roughly 17,000 of the addicts were drug abusers; 8,000 were hooked on alcohol; and 670 could not control their gambling habits. All the figures for 2009 showed an increase over the previous year, although that rise was in keeping with the population growth.
Among the drug addicts, the information collected showed that the largest group of addicts were aged 36-55 and, of those, many were completely detached from their family, the report noted.
Younger addicts, those aged 19-25, showed less of a tendency to socially isolate themselves, displaying instead personal and professional characteristics similar to their non-drug addicted peers.
“At this point most of the younger people who consume drugs are convinced that the drugs do not interfere with their personal development,” wrote the researchers.
While alcoholics tended to be slightly older – between the ages of 46-55 – the data showed that alcohol consumption among Israeli youth is becoming a serious problem. Information taken from researchers at Israel’s Anti-Drug Authority indicated that than half the country’s youth regularly consumed alcohol, while one-third admitted to becoming intoxicated.
The authority said that easy access to legal alcohol made it difficult to send a negative message to youths about drinking.
Figures on gambling also increased in 2009, although the number of those treated at centers supported by social services was much lower than other forms of abuse.
Gamblers, however – like other addicts – displayed a tendency to perform illegal acts and lie to relatives in order to finance their habit.