In addition to these figures from the Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey in 2012, a 2014 study into men’s health in Canada found that men have a reduced life expectancy compared to women – and fewer healthy years than women.

With an estimated 21.6% of Canada’s population reaching the benchmark for substance use disorder – nearly 8 million people across the country – there is clearly a major problem that needs an effective solution.

In addition to these figures from the Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey in 2012, a 2014 study into men’s health in Canada found that men have a reduced life expectancy compared to women – and fewer healthy years than women.

This study, published in the Canadian Urological Association Journal, largely attributed this to a typical male reluctance to seek help for medical conditions – or, as the study put it, “men are not conditioned to see their health as a priority”. The study suggests that the stereotypical male role is one of independence, valiance and power, leading men to not only ‘suffer in silence’ but also be more likely to take risks, to prove their levels of courage.

For those suffering with addiction, the findings of theCanadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey suggests that there is a stoic belief that no-one but the substance user is being harmed, and this reckless selflessness ties in with the earlier study on men’s health.

Across Canada, the monitoring survey found that 19% of Canadians fulfilled the descriptions for alcohol abuse or dependence in 2016, while methamphetamine abuse and addiction is also quoted as being a major issue because of the difficulties in providing a treatment for a drug with such unpredictable and violent side effects, and no known substitutes.

“There is no easy answer to the treatment of substance abuse, especially when men who are affected are so reluctant to seek help in the first place,” said a spokesperson for Inspire Change Wellness, an addiction centre for men based in British Columbia.

“Our approach is tailored to individual needs, as everyone responds to treatments in different ways, and the types of approaches we offer range from one-on-one/group therapy and family counselling to meditation, yoga, and community and team-building activities.

“But what most accurately describes our unique approach is that we take a completely holistic view of the required treatment. What we often say is that we treat people, not addictions – this is because the roots of many addictions lie in the wider context of people’s lives, whether it be mental health challenges, physical trauma or historical abuse.”

The unique challenges posed by male attitudes to healthcare are also on the radar of Inspire Change Wellness. The company has purposefully created a men-only environment in the belief that male participants will be more comfortable about opening up on their innermost thoughts, feelings and worries.

“Men face this constant expectation to be strong and resilient – it comes from themselves as much as it does from society in general,” added the spokesperson. “In our men-only setting, while there is often an initial reluctance to ‘show weakness’ in front of others, gradually the guard comes down and you can sense a palpable relief in being able to display their own vulnerability.”

Inspire Change Wellness covers a range of addictions, from alcohol and marijuana to heroin, cocaine, prescription drugs and opioids

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Website: https://addictionhealingcentre.ca/