(Adaped from the Common Sense for Drug Policy website...|
(This survey did not include women who were homeless, in colleges and universities, or in institutionalized populations).
- Drug addiction has increased steadily among girls and women -- in some cases, more rapidly than among boys and men.
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- From 1992 to 1997 regular use of cocaine increased for women while men's cocaine use declined slightly.
- Addiction to legally prescribed drugs is also a more serious problem for women than men.
- Emergency room visits by women due to drug-related problems rose 35% between 1990 and 1996.
- Studies of women who seek treatment for alcohol and other drug problems have revealed a dramatic connection between domestic violence,
childhood abuse, and substance abuse. The only effective way to address drug abuse is to also address the problems of violence and sexual abuse, unsafe housing, unemployment, stereotyped sexual roles, lack of health care and lack of child care, which contribute to the depression and hopelessness that are underlying causes of substance abuse.
- Women substance abusers have high levels of depression, anxiety, and feelings of powerlessness, and low levels of self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Only 41% of women who need drug treatment actually receive it, and when they do, most programs are based on male-oriented models that are not geared to the needs of women.
- AIDS is the third leading cause of death among women of reproductive age in the United States, and the number one cause of death for African-American women.
- In 1997, women accounted for 22% of AIDS cases, compared to seven percent in 1985.
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