Substance Use Disorders in Women

  • Whitney Peters
  • Connie Guille
  • Leena MittalEmail author


Substance use disorders (SUD) in reproductive-aged women represent a significant public health concern. Although SUD are more common in men than women, reports of rising rates of SUD in young women suggest the gender gap may be narrowing. Moreover, women develop more severe SUD more quickly than men and are more likely to suffer from disorders that are complicated by a number of psychiatric comorbidities, including depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and trauma-related disorders. This chapter will review how sex and gender influence the clinical manifestations, course and treatment of SUD in women, with a special emphasis on pregnancy. Following a general overview, gender-based issues related to specific substances will be discussed, including tobacco, alcohol, opioids, marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine, highlighting that SUD in women warrant special attention and the need for future research.


Substance use Nicotine Tobacco Alcohol Cannabis Opioid Pregnancy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryBeth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA
  2. 2.Medical University of South Carolina, Institute of PsychiatryCharlestonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA

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