How is substance use different in men and women?

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Should treatment of substance use disorders in men and women be individualized? Research provides key differences between use of marijuana, prescription pain medications, and nicotine in men and women.



  1. Hernandez-Avila CA, Rounsaville BJ, Kranzler HR. Opioid-, cannabis- and alcohol-dependent women show more rapid progression to substance abuse treatment. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2004;74(3):265-272.
  2. Thomas H. A community survey of adverse effects of cannabis use. Drug Alcohol Depend. 1996;42(3):201-207.
  3. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (CBHSQ). Table 1.58A. Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; 2015.   
  4. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions by Primary Substance of Abuse, According to Sex, Age Group, Race, and Ethnicity, Year = 2012, United States.
  5. Perkins KA, Scott J. Sex differences in long-term smoking cessation rates due to nicotine patchNicotine Tob Res. 2008;10(7):1245-1250.
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