Author(s): Stevens SJ, Andrade RA, Ruiz BS
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Abstract Historically, data has shown that a smaller percentage of women use alcohol and illicit substances compared to men, and that frequency of use has been lower among women compared to use among men. Although this data on usage may be true, researchers also acknowledge that substance use among women has been a hidden issue, one not realistically acknowledged by society, especially prior to the mid-1960s. Along with this, more recent data indicates that rates of substance use among women are increasing. Factors contributing to this increase in substance abuse have begun to receive considerable attention, and recent research suggests that many issues exist that are unique to substance use among women. The purpose of this article is to discuss gender specific considerations in women's substance abuse by examining the history of substance use among women; analyzing gender-specific factors, including physiological factors, trauma-related factors, mental health issues, and cultural considerations that impact on women's substance use; articulating treatment approaches for working with substance abusing women and girls; and providing recommendations for further research in this area.
This article was published in J Ethn Subst Abuse
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy