Gender Differences In Drug Use

In 2007, black males aged 18 to 25 were more likely than females to report marijuana as their primary substance of abuse (62.8 vs. 49.5 percent); however, females were three times more likely than males to report smoked cocaine as their primary substance of abuse (12.6 vs. 4.2 percent)

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More than two thirds (69.5 percent) of young adult black male admissions were referred to treatment by the criminal justice system, compared to only about one third (35.7 percent) of female admissions

More than half of all young adult black admissions had not completed high school or obtained a GED (50.9 percent for males and 55.1 percent for females) and most were either unemployed (42.5 percent for males and 43.4 percent for females) or not in the labor force (30.1 percent for males and 38.4 percent for females)

As the proportion of racial/ethnic minority groups within the United States continues to increase, it is important that public health professionals understand the specific characteristics and substance abuse behaviors of these populations. Of particular interest are blacks, who are the second largest racial/ethnic minority group in the United States.

Although they comprise approximately 12.2 percent of the total population, this group represented more than one fifth (20.7 percent) of substance abuse treatment admissions with known race/ethnicity that were in publicly funded treatment programs in 2007. Combined 2007-2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data indicate that among Blacks, adults between the ages of 18 and 25 have the highest rates of past month illicit drug use (19.7 percent) and past year need for treatment (15.2 percent) compared to other age groups. Among Blacks aged 18 to 25 who were in need of substance abuse treatment in the past year, only 5.5 percent received treatment at a specialty facility.

Data from the 2007 Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) can be used to examine Black substance abuse treatment admissions. This report focuses on gender differences for admissions aged 18 to 25. Of the approximately 48,500 Black admissions in this age group, about 34,000 were male and 14,500 were female.

For more information, visit SAMHSA.

Khloe & Lamar: When Abuse Hurts The Relationship

Khloe Kardashian and Lamar OdomOne of the most trending topics right now is Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom’s marital struggles due to Lamar’s alleged drug abuse problem.

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READ: The Most Commonly Abused Drugs

According to reports, Lamar went to rehab after battling his addiction to crack cocaine for two years. After his season with the L.A. Clippers ended, he relapsed, and the reality-TV star kicked her basketball player husband out of the house after he refused to go back to rehab,

Having a partner who drinks too much or uses drugs can be detrimental to the relationship, as well as individual lives. The affect are often felt by children, relatives, friends, and co-workers.

How Substance Abuse Hurts Relationships

Couples in a relationship where substance abuse is a concern generally:

  • Are unable to promote the healthy growth of the relationship
  • Fight/argue much more often
  • Suffer from physical abuse/domestic violence
  • Suffer from mental health/emotional health issues that impact other aspects of their lives

Couples dealing with substance abuse often have a very difficult time getting out of a downward spiral of abusing to cope and coping with the abuse.

Is Substance Abuse Hurting Your Relationship? 

There are several tell-tale signs that drinking or drug use by a partner is harming the relationship, and that professional intervention/treatment is needed:

  • One or both partners constantly being drunk or high
  • Arguing about substance abuse
  • Staying out late
  • Engaging in other types of high-risk/dangerous behaviors
  • Coercing partner abuse substances as well
  • Not taking care of responsibilities
  • Consistently making excuses for partner, such as to their boss or co-worker
  • A partner reporting that he or she drinks or uses drugs to reduce tension or stress
  • Domestic violence
  • Isolation from other family members and friends

If you or a loved one notices any of these signs, it’s very important to discuss treatment as soon as possible, since, generally, the problem rarely improves on its own.

Drug Abuse: What to Do

If you suspect that someone you know is abusing drugs, including alcohol, illegal substances, prescription or over-the-counter medicines, call 800-662-HELP to find a treatment center. In addition, the abuse must be directly addressed, as difficult as doing this may be.

Can Treatment Really Help?

Research has shown that couples often need to work together in order for the treatment to be successful. It is also very important to note a few treatment realities:

  • If the issues are not treated, it can set the stage for more serious, even dangerous, problems.
  • Many couples continue to argue after the substance abuse has stopped (often due to extensive damage to the relationship caused by the abuse).
  • Eliminating drinking or drug use is only the start.