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Although women today make up nearly a third of those persons who abuse substances in the U.S. population, they have often been neglected in research and clinical care. Since the 1970s, increasing academic and governmental attention has been focused on the needs of addicted women. However, significant ethical challenges remain in the effort to provide compassionate, competent, and equitable treatment for women suffering from addictions.
In 1994, the United States Department of Health and Human Services estimated that 200,000 women died of illnesses related to drug abuse. The figure was more than quadruple the number of women predicted to die of breast cancer. Large epidemiological studies estimate that 4.4 million women had used an illicit drug in the month prior to being surveyed, and that half of all women 15–44 years of age have used an illicit drug at least once in their lives.
The media have offered often highly stigmatizing accounts of an epidemic of...
KeywordsDomestic Violence Illicit Drug Criminal Justice System Addictive Behavior Child Protective Service
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