Women and Substance Abuse June, 2003 Substance abuse among women is an to be a leading preventable cause of issue that is often overlooked as a mental, physical, and psychological serious health problem with negative impairments and problems in infants and physical and mental health children.iv consequences. Girls ages 15 to 17 were reported to use drugs (12.9%), and women ages 26 and older using alcohol (14.0%) during KY Females for Substance Abuse Treatment in Community M ental Health Centers pregnancy.v Fiscal Years 2000 - 2002 Numbe r of Clients 4,200 Drug Alcohol Pregnant Females Reporting Past Month Use 3,994 of Drugs or Alcohol, by Age 3,493 U.S., 1999 and 2000 2,972 2,100 20 Drugs Alcohol 2,306 2,276 2,217 12.9 14.0 Percent 10.1 8.6 0 10 5.5 2000 2001 2002 1.3 Source: Kentucky Department for Mental 0 Health and Mental Retardation, Division of 15-17 18-25 26+ Substance Abuse Source: National Household Survey on Drug 9 million women nationally have used Abuse, “Substance Use among Pregnant Women illegal drugs in the past year. 3.7 million During 1999 and 2000”, May 17, 2002. women have taken prescription drugs non-medically during the past year.i Almost 19 percent of pregnant women The University of Kentucky Institute on in Kentucky use alcohol and 24 percent Women and Substance Abuse found, of women report smoking during that of the estimated 72,000 women in pregnancy.vi Kentucky who abused alcohol and/or Women are more inclined to hide their other drugs, only 22 percent received substance abuse for a number of treatment. reasons, including shame, Additionally, of the approximately stigmatization, or fear of losing their 13,850 young women in Kentucky children. between the ages of 12 and 17 in need of The issues women bring to substance treatment services, only 7% have abuse treatment are often more received treatmentii numerous and complex than men’s Studies find women develop substance issues. abuse problems faster than men, after Compared to the general population, initiation of substance use. They also women in treatment show significantly suffer more physical problems due to higher rates of childhood sexual abuse, substance abuse.iii domestic violence, medical problems, unemployment, homelessness, mental Pregnancy health problems, primary care taking The use of alcohol, tobacco, and/or responsibilities, shame and guilt. other drugs during pregnancy continues To identify and treat substance abuse among pregnant women, Kentucky has Approximately 20 percent of welfare the KIDS NOW initiative, designed to recipients nationally, have alcohol and increase the number of pregnant women drug problems and substance abuse is who receive screening, referral, among the most frequently cited prevention and treatment services for functional impairment preventing substance abuse. welfare recipients from leaving welfare and completing job training.viii Teens While the proportion of adolescent boys WEB NOTES and girls needing treatment services are Al-Anon/Alateen similar, boys are four times more likely (http://www.al-anon-alateen.org/) than girls to have received treatment for Institute on Women & Substance Abuse their substance abuse vii (http://www.uky.edu/RGS/CDAR/IOWASA/) Alcohol is the most commonly used Kentucky Department for Mental Health/Mental psychoactive substance during Retardation – Substance Abuse Division (http://dmhmrs.chr.state.ky.us/sa/) adolescence. In 2001, in Kentucky, half of all high school students reported drinking in the NOTES previous 30 days. i National Institute on Drug Abuse, Women and Drug Abuse. ii University of Kentucky, Center on Drug and Alcohol Research, Institute on Women and Substance Abuse. High School Students Who iii Alayne White, Institute on Women and Substance Abuse. Reported Drinking Alcohol in iv Kentucky Coalition for Women and Substance Abuse Prior Month, by Gender, Services, Briefing Folder, October, 2000. v National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, “Substance Kentucky, 2001 Use among Pregnant Women During 1999 and 2000”, May 50 41.9 39.6 17, 2002. vi National Vital Statistics Report. vii Percent Kentucky Household Survey, UK Center on Drug and 25 Alcohol Research. viii “Welfare Reform, Substance Use, and Mental Health.” Rukmalie Jayakody, Sheldon Danziger, Harold Pollack, 0 Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. Male Female Source: CDC, Youth BRFSS, Risk Behaviors on Adolescent Health, 2001. In 2001, Kentucky high school students (24.2% male and 17.1% female) reported having used marijuana in the prior month. High School Stude nts Who Re porte d Selected Drug Use in Prior Month, by Ge nder, Kentucky, 2001 30 24.2 25 Male 20 17.1 Fe male Per cent 15 10 4.6 3.1 3.9 4.3 5 0 Marijuana Cocaine Inhalants Source: CDC, Youth BRFSS, Risk Behaviors on Adolescent Health, 2001.
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