The history of substance abuse is as old as mankind itself. Currently, it has become a global problem that is influenced by social, economic, political, and psychosocial factors. Scientists have long noted an association between social relationships and health. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to discuss similarities and differences between the genders in substance use disorders, highlight the severity of substance use disorders, and focus on comorbidities in both males and females.
Patients and Methods:
This cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out on a sample of 117 addicted patients (39 women and 78 men) seeking treatment in Egyptian psychiatric hospitals. The patients were recruited from the inpatient and outpatient departments of 3 governmental hospitals.
A statistically significant difference in various parameters such as the mean age of onset of abuse was higher among men. The percentage of married men was lower in comparison to women; there was a higher percentage of divorces among women. More women had completed primary levels of education, but more men had completed tertiary diplomas. Physical and emotional abuse was more prevalent among men, but women were exposed more to sexual abuse. Men had greater legal problems. Job and dealing drugs as a source of money for drugs were mainly prevalent among men, but women obtained money mainly from the family or through prostitution. Men showed higher rates of hepatitis C virus infection.
There is a clear difference between men and women in many of the aspects covered in this study, which confirms that different programs need to be developed specifically for women, instead of conducting the same treatment programs for both men and women, which leads to unsatisfactory results among female patients and dissatisfaction also among those involved in the treatment of addiction.