Article | March 2018

Drinking, Drugs, and Men

Men face significant pressure to drink and use drugs

Drug or alcohol use can cause problems for anyone. But men face some special dangers. They often deal with strong social pressure to abuse alcohol or other drugs. And men are at greater risk for certain health hazards related to drug and alcohol abuse1. Knowing about these risks is the first step. Being aware can help you to make better choices.

Under pressure

Do your friends or coworkers drink or use drugs? Believe it or not, their attitudes and opinions likely affect your decisions. Their behaviors can influence when and how much you use, too.

Why do men pressure their buddies and coworkers to drink or take drugs? Unfortunately, some people may think that drinking or drug use proves how much of a man you are. Some men are taught to be tough and emotionless. Drug use lets some men relax from this pressure. Some drink to feel more comfortable in social situations. Others use alcohol or drugs to relax and let out pent-up emotions.

Effects of Substance Use

Substance use disorder can have many harmful effects, including:2

  • Increased risk of heart disease, cancer, mental illness, and even death
  • Decreased testosterone levels, which affects sexual desire and performance
  • Lower sperm production (or abnormal sperm). This makes it harder to conceive healthy children
  • Accidents on the job, lowered productivity, or other work performance problems
  • Behavior that embarrasses or hurts your family
  • Injuries or death caused by accidents, violence, or auto crashes

Steps to Take

You have the power to make better choices about drug use. The right choices can improve your life and the lives of your loved ones and friends.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Don’t let anyone push you into taking drinks or drugs.
  • If you plan to become a father, protect your fertility. Don’t use drugs.
  • If you host a party, don’t push your guests to drink. Make sure that you offer soft drinks and food along with alcohol. And make sure no one drives under the influence.
  • If you have a hard time controlling your drug use, get help. A 12-step program or health professional with experience in chemical dependency can help.

Cigna Can Help

If you have coverage through Cigna, we are available by phone at 1 (877) 622-4327 any time to help you understand what services are available to support you during this time.

Tired man sleeping on sofa at home

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fact Sheets - Excessive Alcohol Use and Risks to Men's Health

2 National Institute on Drug Abuse, Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction

Drug Abuse, The Harmful Effects of Drugs and Alcohol

This material is provided by Cigna for informational/educational purposes only. It is not medical/clinical advice. Only a health care provider can make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment plan. For more information about your behavioral health benefits, you can call the member services or behavioral health telephone number listed on your health care ID card.