Women & The Drug War

Statistics and other data regarding drug use by women, and drug policies targeting women.

State Policies Regarding Substance Use by Pregnant Women

"24 states and the District of Columbia consider substance use during pregnancy to be child abuse under civil child-welfare statutes, and 3 consider it grounds for civil commitment.

"23 states and the District of Columbia require health care professionals to report suspected prenatal drug use, and 7 states require them to test for prenatal drug exposure if they suspect drug use.

Rates of Inmate-on-Inmate Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails

(Rates of Inmate-on-Inmate Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails)
"• Rates of inmate-on-inmate sexual victimization among prison inmates were higher among females (6.9%) than males (1.7%), higher among whites (2.9%) or inmates of two or more races (4.0%) than among blacks (1.3%), higher among inmates with a college degree (2.7%) than among inmates who had not completed high school (1.9%), and lower among currently married inmates (1.4%) than among inmates who never married (2.1%) (table 7).

Mothers in Prison by Race/Ethnicity

(Mothers in Prison by Race/Ethnicity) "Almost half (48%) of all mothers held in the nation’s prisons at midyear 2007 were white, 28% were black, and 17% were Hispanic. Of the estimated 147,400 children with a mother in prison, about 45% had a white mother. A smaller percentage of the children had a black (30%) or Hispanic (19%) mother."

Women Under-Represented in Substance Use Treatment Globally

(Women Under-Represented in Substance Use Treatment Globally) "To be equally represented in treatment, the ratio of males to females in treatment should be similar to the ratio of males to females in problem drug use. Using past-month prevalence as a proxy for problematic use,24 gender-disaggregated data from EMCDDA on past-month prevalence and outpatient clients in treatment suggest that in most countries in Europe females could be underrepresented in treatment for the problematic use of cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines (see figure 5).

Substance Dependence or Abuse by Gender

(Substance Dependence or Abuse by Gender) "As was the case from 2002 through 2010, the rate of substance dependence or abuse for males aged 12 or older in 2011 was about twice as high as the rate for females. For males in 2011, the rate was 10.4 percent, which decreased from 11.7 percent in 2010 (Figure 7.6). For females, it was 5.7 percent in 2011, which did not differ from the rate of 6.0 percent in 2010. Among youths aged 12 to 17, the rate of substance dependence or abuse among males was not different from the rate among females in 2011 (6.9 percent for each)."

Prevalence of LSD Use Among Young Women

(Prevalence of LSD Use Among Young Women) "Our results indicate that this population of sexually active female adolescents and young adults have similar rates of lifetime use of LSD (13%) as reported in other surveys,1,30 and half of these young women report using LSD one or more times in the last year. Prior data suggests that the use of hallucinogens by African Americans is virtually nonexistent across all ages of adolescents and young adults.2,9 In fact, we found that none of our African American young women reported using LSD.

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