• Women addicts are more aware of their addiction than men.
  • It is related to the onset of mental, health and work problems that accompany these addictions.

Introduction to the study

Women addicted to alcohol previously realized that they needed treatment more than another dose of alcohol. At the same time, they experienced an earlier onset of alcohol-related complications (so-called Telescoping). This phenomenon appears to be evident in women addicted to drugs, although the available data on this link are less rich.


To evaluate the effect of gender on the course of treatment and on the frequency, severity and related complications of DSM-III-R and alcohol dependence in 271 dependent patients (mean age: 32.6; 156 women).


The ANCOVA method was used to compare the duration of regular cocaine, opiate, cannabis and alcohol use and the time between doses.

The results of the dependency severity index (ASI) were also examined.


When examining the regular use of any substance, no gender difference was observed in patients. Women have been taking opiates and cannabis regularly for fewer years, and alcohol dependence has lasted for fewer years before starting treatment. Although the severity of drug and alcohol dependence did not vary by gender, women reported more serious psychiatric, health, and occupational complications.


These findings support the hypothesis of accelerated progression to treatment among women addicted to opiates, cannabis and alcohol, and suggest that there is gender-based vulnerability to the adverse consequences of these disorders.

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