Women and Drug Abuse

Today, more than 4 million women in this country use drugs. Women of all ages, races and cultures... Women just like you best friend, your sister, your co-worker, or your daughter... Women just like you. Drug abuse is a serious, continuing illness. There are no easy cures.

Women who try to quit sometimes fail at first. But help is available to overcome the illness of drug abuse.

Women who use drugs do not have to face the problem alone.

  • 9 million women have used illegal drugs in the past year.
  • 3.7 million women have taken prescription drugs non-medically during the past year.
  • More than 28,000 (70%) of the AIDS cases among women are drug-related.

Almost half of all women age 15-44 have used drugs at least once in their life. Of these women, nearly 2 million have used cocaine and more than 6 million have used marijuana within the past year. Most women drug abusers use more than one drug.

To understand drug use by pregnant women, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has been studying treatment for women to develop the most effective approaches. One project, "Perinatal 10", is looking at the effects of treatment, medical care, and support services for pregnant women.

Source: National Institutes of Health (www.nih.gov)

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Last Editorial Review: 1/27/2005