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Curr Womens Health Rep. 2003 Jun;3(3):245-53.

Emerging issues in gender and ethnic differences in substance abuse and treatment.

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  • 1National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, 6001 Executive Blvd. Room 5241, MSC 9591, Bethesda, MD 20892-9591, USA.


The emerging understanding of gender differences among ethnic minorities in the rates, etiology, course, and treatment of substance abuse and common comorbid mental health disorders has significant scientific and practical implications. Growing recognition of these differences and their implications for treatment and policy decisions has highlighted research gaps and the need for more thoughtful application of the knowledge gained from existing research findings. In this brief review, we outline some of the unique aspects of substance abuse and comorbid mental health problems for women, as well as for women of various ethnic/cultural groups, including specific barriers to obtaining and remaining in treatment. Research challenges to improving limited knowledge about the rates, course, and treatment of substance abuse disorders among ethnic minority women are highlighted.

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