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J Nerv Ment Dis. 1995 Apr;183(4):260-6.

Gender differences and similarities in African-American crack cocaine abusers.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19146, USA.


Recent interest in women's health and patient-treatment matching has focused attention on gender differences among substance abusers. This article seeks to extend research in this area to African-American crack cocaine abusers. It describes gender differences and similarities in a large sample (652 males and 595 females) of this important group of patients at a publicly funded, inner-city intensive outpatient clinic. As in previous studies on white working-class inpatients, few significant gender differences were found on demographic characteristics or drug use or treatment histories. Moreover, there were few differences in psychiatric symptomatology, and none in treatment participation or retention. In contrast to some reports, we did not find that women entered treatment with higher levels of depression than men. Most statistically significant differences we found were either too small to be of practical importance, or reflected conventional gender differences (e.g., women were more likely to care for dependents).

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