Are There Differences Between the Way Boys and Girls Develop Addictions?

Are There Differences Between the Way Boys and Girls Develop Addictions?

It’s devastating to admit, but sometimes our teens fall into the hands of addiction. They pick up a substance in an effort to experiment, or they feel pressured from friends, and they find themselves using more and more. This path continues to unravel, and before we know it, they’re acting differently. The teenage years are a critical time because the brain is still developing, and addiction can greatly influence their present-day health and their future. In an effort to understand exactly how teens experience addiction, we have to consider that there may be some differences between the sexes – boys and girls tend to process things and act differently, so how does this play out in the realm of substance dependency?

A few years ago, researchers sought out to answer this very question. They produced a large review that covered the ways teens are motivated (or repelled) by drugs, how their personality and psychiatric history plays a part in addiction, and how their environment (trauma, peers and family around them, etc.) can influence a teen to go from initial use of drugs to abuse. Sexual differences were found to be a major factor.

Check it out:

  • Males tend to be pressured more by other male peers than females are by female peers when it comes to using substances
  • Testosterone can bring about both impulsivity and sensation-seeking among both males and females
  • Females do tend to exhibit more self-control than males when the desire to use substances is present, but testosterone levels could affect this
  • Females who have a history of child sexual abuse are more likely to associate themselves with drug use and relapse, compared to males
  • Females who abuse substances are also more likely to have depression, anxiety and/or bipolar disorder during adolescence, while males are most likely to have ADHD or a conduct disorder if substance abuse is involved

Teen recovery centers do best to separate males from females because of these differences. The brain develops in different ways, and the chemical changes that occur during this time period can make it particularly difficult to navigate. If your adolescent is abusing substances, guide them to seek the help they need, today. Our teens don’t always realize they’re becoming addicted to something, and that’s when we have to step in. Lead them on the road to recovery today.

Adolescent Recovery of Cumberland Heights (ARCH) originally began in 1985 when there were few other adolescent programs like it in the country. In 2019, we’re expanding our continuum of services with ARCH Academy, a unique program that offers 60 days to 6 months of residential care to adolescent boys ages 14-18 who are struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction. This new program stems from Cumberland Heights, which has been around since 1966, and is located in Kingston Springs, Tennessee. The adolescent age is a critical time for development, making this a crucial time of positive influence. For more information, call us today at 1-800-646-9998.