Men’s Alcohol Addiction – The Bad and Good News

men's alcohol addiction men in therapy group

In gender-specific treatment settings, men feel more comfortable sharing and being vulnerable.


Let us begin with the bad news: statistically men are more likely to use every type of illegal and legal drug than women. When it comes to men’s  alcohol addiction, men drink more than women in every category. This includes binge drinking, overall consumption, and substance use disorders. According to a CDC Fact Sheet on Men’s Health, men are also more likely than women to take added risks. This includes misusing other substances, having multiple sexual partners, or not wearing a seat belt. And when you combine dangerous behavior with alcohol, the risk of illness, injury, or death increases.


Men’s Alcohol Addiction

A study published in Biological Psychiatry showed that dopamine (a chemical released in the brain that makes you feel good) may be a key factor as to why men are more susceptible to alcohol addiction than women.

1, First, with similar consumption of alcohol, men experience a greater dopamine release than women. This increase in dopamine was found in the area of the brain associated with pleasure, reinforcement, and addiction development.

2. Men also had a greater decline in dopamine release with repeated heavy drinking episodes. In other words, they are more likely to develop tolerance to alcohol or to transition to habitual use or dependency then their women counterparts.


men's alcohol addiction

Detox and Men’s Residential Beds are Available Now.


The GOOD News?

Understanding these statistics can serve as a motivation to change. Men and women differ in their pathways to addiction. And men and women have varied reasons for entering treatment, contrasting needs within the treatment continuum, and individualized goals for recovery. At Sanford Behavioral Health, our residential programs are gender-specific. For more information on our gender specific programming, CLICK HERE.


Sanford House at John Street for Men is a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center designed for male gendered individuals in recovery. The residential programs at John Street create an atmosphere of camaraderie and trust. Our clinicians and medical providers specialize in addiction and co-occurring disorders (e.g., PTSD, anxiety, depression). Our integrated programs are tailored to the strengths and preferences of each patient. Sanford House at John Street offers its residents privacy, comfort, and respect. 


Features of Sanford House at John Street for Men

  • Clinical programming and medical management
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Male gendered therapeutic approaches
  • 20 beds
  • Residential treatment level of care
  • Science-based therapeutic approaches
  • Wellness activities and private chef
  • Beautiful surroundings
  • Individual, group and family therapy
  • Full continuum of care – long-term recovery
    • Detox
    • Residential, Day Programs, Intensive Outpatient and Outpatient Programs
    • In-Person and Virtual Options
  • Robust excursions and outside AA/NA and community recovery meetings
  • Family/alumni programs




Sanford Behavioral Health is licensed and accredited as an addiction, eating disorder, and co-occurring mental health treatment facility, serving all of Michigan and beyond. Each of Sanford’s facilities in Greater Grand Rapids is carefully and diligently crafted to create a welcoming and comforting environment. Sanford is led by a psychiatrist-led team of medical, clinical, and support personnel providing medication-assisted, evidenced-based treatment to residential, outpatient, and telehealth patients. For more information, visit