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Methamphetamine use and dependence in vulnerable female populations

Kittirattanapaiboon, Phunnapaa; Srikosai, Soontareeb; Wittayanookulluk, Apisakc

Current Opinion in Psychiatry: July 2017 - Volume 30 - Issue 4 - p 247–252
doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000335
ADDICTIVE DISORDERS: Edited by John B. Saunders and Linda B. Cottler

Purpose of review The study reviews recent publications on methamphetamine use and dependence women in term of their epidemic, physical health impact, psychosocial impacts, and also in the identified vulnerable issues.

Recent findings Studies of vulnerable populations of women are wide ranging and include sex workers, sexual minorities, homeless, psychiatric patients, suburban women, and pregnant women, in which amphetamine type stimulants (ATSs) are the most commonly reported illicit drug used among them. The prenatal exposure of ATS demonstrated the small for gestational age and low birth weight; however, more research is needed on long-term studies of methamphetamine-exposed children. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is commonly reported by female methamphetamine users as perpetrators and victims. However, statistics and gendered power dynamics suggest that methamphetamine-related IPV indicates a higher chance of femicide. Methamphetamine-abusing women often have unresolved childhood trauma and are introduced to ATS through families or partners.

Summary Vulnerable populations of women at risk of methamphetamine abuse and dependence. Impacts on their physical and mental health, IPV, and pregnancy have been reported continuing, which guide that empowering and holistic substance abuse are necessary for specific group.

aDepartment of Mental Health, Ministry of Public Health

bRajanagarindra Institute of Child Development

cThanyarak Chiang Mai Hospital, Thailand

Correspondence to Phunnapa Kittirattanapaiboon, MD, Department of Mental Health, Ministry of Public Health, Tivanon Road, Muang, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand. Tel: +66 86 732 3712; e-mail:

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