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Sex differences in cocaine use and experiences: a double standard revived?

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
The American journal of drug and alcohol abuse
Publication Date
Volume
15
Issue
2
Pages
135–152
Identifiers
PMID: 2729223
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Women's use of prescription medication exceeds that of men's and yet is not viewed with the alarm and disapproval that accompanies women's lower levels of use of alcohol and illicit drugs. Reports in the media, based on anecdotal accounts, have identified women as a group at particular risk for cocaine addiction and have suggested that their problems with cocaine are greater than men's. After reviewing the scientific literature and analyzing the results of an original research study, this paper argues that there is no evidence that women's cocaine use exceeds that of men's, that women's rates of use are growing faster than men's, or that female cocaine users experience more problems than male cocaine users. Since the deviant image of the female cocaine user is a social construction lacking a factual basis, we conclude that a different standard is being applied to women who use cocaine than to men who use cocaine.

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