Drugs and Alcohol Are No Joke

Men take longer to get substance help

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Addiction doesn’t happen the first time around. It takes time for addictions to develop and still many addicts will deny their dependence. When will the denying stop and help be sought out?

Many addicts don’t realize the stress and emotional torment they inflict on family and friends. They probably don’t even realize the negative consequences for themselves. Maybe that’s why some addicts take years before seeking treatment. Researchers figure out just how long it takes before treatment admission happens.

"Man-up and get yourself admitted into treatment."

Researchers from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that the length of time between the first time substance use and treatment for the first time is on average 15.6 years apart. The actual years differ by type of substance, sex and race, but in general, there is a huge lag time between the first time use and first treatment admission.

Overall, men had a longer length of time than women where men had an average of 16.5 years and women had 13.8 years.

In some cases, the length of time was more than 20 years – that’s two decades of substance abuse before seeking treatment.

This study shows how important it is for policy makers to spread awareness of substance abuse and treatment options while health professionals should be ever watchful for any signs of misuse.

The sooner the problem is addressed; the sooner intervention can take place and less time suffering for individuals and their family and friends.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
October 7, 2011
Last Updated:
October 9, 2011