Science / Health

Addiction in Men is at Breaking Point

Nick Conn, founder of Help4Addiction, on why men are suffering so much in a post-pandemic world.

Nick Conn is a man who has felt the sting of addiction in the past, and who doesn’t want it to happen to other people. In order to achieve his lifelong goal of putting addiction in Britain to an end, he set up an organisation of his own, destined to direct addicts seeking help towards the resources that can accommodate them.

Alarmingly, though, the times are changing. Addiction in men is at breaking point, with Nick confessing that some 75% of all callers are men. He does what he can to help them, of course, but that doesn’t change the alarming statistics. Nick Conn has seen a 500% rise in addicts seeking help since the start of the pandemic… a figure he thinks is only going to get worse.

Coronavirus has a lot to answer for…

Covid-19 has taken so much from us. It has taken our friends, our family, and our dreams. For many men, it has also managed to steal away their careers. Between lay offs and businesses going down the tubes, there have been multiple reasons for young men to have lost their way.

Nick says that every morning, his Instagram handle @dadinrecovery is thronging with those reaching out for help. Every day, he sees at least ten new referrals through his doors. Every day more and more men are stepping forward and asking for help. And help is out there if you know where to turn.

Nick recalls one man who contacted him recently to say that his wife had kicked him out. He was addicted to alcohol and had nowhere to go. It is a similar story that Nick has heard time and time again, so of course he had to help. Nick made some calls, found him a rehab clinic, and even got him a place to stay… all within 48 hours of their first phone call.

If you need help with an addiction, we recommend that you contact Nick’s organisation, rather than contacting him through hid Instagram account. You can contact if you need that extra bit of support.

Men are Feeling the Strain

Why is Nick experiencing such a prevalence of male visitors to his site? In his words…

“The commonest thing I encounter is that Covid-19 has had them lose their jobs, that their wives think they are losers, that they are hungry and have no income… it’s the same story, over and over.”

The similarities between this acute rise in men who are falling foul of addiction, is akin to the rise in numbers of men who are suicidal as a result of similar circumstances. The numbers of male suicides have been steadily growing for the last decade or so, but since the pandemic, the government reports into this area have been suspiciously quiet.

We dug out a report from 2019, written by the Office of National Statistics. They say that the suicide rate among men in England and Wales was 16.9 per 100,000. Between April and June of 2020, that number was 6.9… but that shouldn’t be mistaken for a drop. The 16.9 figure was across a twelve-month period while the 6.9 is across a three-month period. We don’t have new data yet, but we can speculate that the same rate carried throughout the year would result in 4 times the 6.9 for the same length of time. This would put the actual figure at 27.6 per hundred thousand.

What can we do about it?

We can start reaching out for help when we need to, exactly like those that have reached out to Nick over the years. The sooner we can admit we have an addiction, or that we are suffering from depression, the easier it is to help us beat that problem.

We need to stop teaching boys it’s OK to speak up about how they feel. We need to start letting little boys cry, instead of telling them that crying is something boys don’t do. We need to make these changes now, as mothers and fathers of sons. Let’s help them beat addiction before it starts… That way people like Nick can get their Sunday’s back.

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