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The Convergence Theory: It has been suggested that the percentage of women who have substance use disorders is slowly approaching that of men with similar disorders. Is this true? Society has hidden the problem of substance abuse in women for the better part of the 20th century. Further, as was discussed in your text, many women obtain their drugs of choice not from illicit sources, but from physicians. An example of this is the fact that for many years after its introduction, diazepam was referred to in some quarters as “mother’s little helper”. If the stress of parenthood was too much, one could always take a benzodiazepine such as diazepam, and make it all go away, or so the popular stereotype suggested.
Questions 1. If the woman’s substance use was sanctioned by a physician, is it an SUD (substance use disorder) or just a woman receiving another prescription?
2. Should multiple prescriptions for a compound with a moderate or high abuse potential be counted as part of the substance use problem in this country?
3. What statistics comparing substance use disorders in men and women can you find? Is the percentage of women with a substance use disorder approaching that of men, or is it just that society is able to recognize such problems, now?
4. Your text notes that only 40 percent of substance abuse rehabilitation programs offer genderspecific treatment. But what should be included in a “gender-specific” rehabilitation program? Why those components and not others? If a hypothetical woman is admitted to a male dominated rehabilitation program and is handed a booklet on recovery for women, does that make the program “gender specific”?
5. Does “gender specific” mean only specifically for women or are there “gender specific” programs for men as well? Should such programs be offered? Why, or why not?
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