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Male Veterans More Prone to Substance Abuse

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Women serving in the U.S. military smoke, binge drink, and use illicit drugs less frequently than male servicemen, but are equally likely to abuse prescription drugs, HealthDay reported Nov. 11.

Despite exposure to many of the same service-related stressors — plus “the additional stressors attendant to being a female in a male-dominated profession” — 23 percent of servicewomen reported binge drinking in the past 30 days, compared to 43 percent of servicemen, according to the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality report (PDF).

Although earlier studies had shown higher levels of drug, alcohol, and tobacco use among veterans compared with the general population, this analysis of data from the 2002-2009 U.S. National Survey of Drug Use and Health was one of the first to compare veteran substance use by gender.

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