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Addict Disord Their Treat. 2012 Jun 1;11(2):53-63.

Gender Differences in Psychiatric Symptoms among Methamphetamine Dependent Residents in Sober Living Houses.

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Alcohol Research Group Public Health Institute 6475 Christie Avenue, Suite 400 Emeryville, CA 94608-1010 Phone (510) 597-3440 Fax (510) 985-6459.



Although psychiatric symptoms among methamphetamine (MA) dependent individuals have been studied in treatment programs, they have not been examined in services designed to support sustained recovery in the community (e.g. sober living houses). In addition, some disorders more common among women, such as somatoform and bulimia, have been understudied among MA dependent individuals. This study aimed to examine psychiatric symptom differences between MA dependent men and women who we entering sober living houses (SLHs).


Two hundred forty five individuals were interviewed within one week of entering SLHs. Instruments included a DSM IV based measure for MA dependence, a psychiatric screen (the Psychiatric Diagnostic Screening Questionnaire), demographics, recent substance use and recent use of services.


Of the 245 participants, 103 men and 25 women met criteria for MA dependence. Womenwith MA dependence reported more psychiatric symptoms than men. They also trended toward reporting more psychiatric symptoms than non-MA dependent women. For men, psychiatric symptoms did not vary between those with and without MA dependence. Some understudied disorders (e.g., somatoform) had large proportions of women meeting the screening criteria.


Additional research is needed on understudied psychiatric disorders that are common among MA dependent women. SLH's should consider ways to address psychiatric symptoms among MA dependent individuals, especially women. Strategies could include increasing linkages with professional mental health services as well as developing peer oriented strategies for managing symptoms.


Methamphetamine; co-morbidity; gender differences; psychiatric symptoms; sober living houses

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