Girls More Vulnerable to Substance Abuse?

Thursday July 15, 2010

Parents of teenage girls may be surprised to learn that their daughters may be more vulnerable to developing alcohol and drug problems than their male counterparts according to a survey by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. They are more susceptible to substance abuse because they are more likely to use alcohol and drugs to self medicate.

Specifically, teen girls more than boys perceived the potential benefits of using drugs and alcohol.

The fact that girls, more than teenage boys, think that drugs can help them deal with their problems was revealed in an analysis of the 2009 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS).

Girls More Likely to Turn to Drugs

Some of the findings of the study about teen girls included

  • 68% of girls said “using drugs helps kids deal with problems at home” (up from 61% in 2008).
  • 53% said drugs helped teens forget their problems (up from 48% in 2008).
  • 59% of teen girls reported using alcohol (up from 53% in 2008).
  • Past year use of marijuana increased 29% from 2008 to 2009.

More troubling, the PATS study found that girls’ attitude toward illegal drugs is changing. Only 77% of teen girls think Ecstasy can be addictive (down from 82% in 2008) and only 33% of girls said they “don’t want to hang around drug users.”



Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.