Gender differences in adolescents attending a drug and alcohol withdrawal service

Dean, Angela J., McBride, Michelle, MacDonald, Elspeth M., Connnolly, Yvonne, and McDermott, Brett M. (2010) Gender differences in adolescents attending a drug and alcohol withdrawal service. Drug and Alcohol Review, 29 (3). pp. 278-285.

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Abstract

Introduction and Aims: Gender differences have been reported in adult substance users, but little research has examined gender differences in adolescents presenting to treatment services. This study aimed to explore gender differences in adolescents presenting to a withdrawal service.

Design and Methods: All presentations to a withdrawal service between March 2000 and September 2004 were identified. For each presentation, the following information was extracted from clinical databases: sociodemographics, drug use, risk-taking behaviour, mental health symptoms, reasons and context of drug use. Significant gender differences identified at bivariate analysis were then incorporated into multivariate models exploring predictors of heroin use, cannabis use and sharing injecting equipment.

Results: A total of 262 young people were admitted during the study period (53% male, mean age 16.8 years; SD 1.13). Bivariate analysis indicated that girls were more likely to report: being homeless, using a greater number of substances, using heroin and amphetamines, higher rates of injecting, sharing injecting equipment and using with a partner. Multivariate analysis identified that being female was an independent predictor of heroin use and that being male was an independent predictor of cannabis use. Significant predictors of sharing injecting equipment were using with a partner and current use of heroin; the effect of gender was not significant after controlling for other factors.

Discussion and Conclusions: Our findings indicate that male and female adolescents presenting to a withdrawal treatment service exhibit differences in substance use characteristics. Future research should examine the role of gender in determining optimal treatment approaches in substance-using adolescents.

Item ID: 44563
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: sex characteristics, substance abuse treatment centres, intravenous, adolescent, substance-related disorders
ISSN: 1465-3362
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2016 01:34
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920414 Substance Abuse @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920111 Nervous System and Disorders @ 50%
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