Addiction Ethics

  • Cynthia M. A. Geppert
  • Michael Bogenschutz
Reference work entry

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.

Epidemiological Background

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...


Domestic Violence Illicit Drug Criminal Justice System Addictive Behavior Child Protective Service 
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Suggested Reading

  1. 1.
    Beauchaump, T., & Childress, J. F. (2001). Principles of biomedical ethics (5th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Blume, S. B. (1998). Understanding addictive disorders in women. Annapolis Junction, MD: American Society of Addiction Medicine.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Galanter, M., & Kleber, H. D. (1999). Textbook of substance abuse treatment (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Link, B. G., Struening, E. L., Rahav, M., Phelan, J. C., & Nuttbrock, L. (1997). On stigma and its consequences: evidence from a longitudinal study of men with dual diagnoses of mental illness and substance abuse. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 38, 177–190.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wetherington, C. L., & Roman, A. B. (Eds.). (1998). Drug addiction research and the health of women. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute on Drug Abuse.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cynthia M. A. Geppert
  • Michael Bogenschutz

There are no affiliations available