Substance use among women receiving post-rape medical care, associated post-assault concerns and current substance abuse: Results from a national telephone household probability sample

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, United States.
Addictive behaviors (Impact Factor: 2.76). 12/2012; 38(4):1952-1957. DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2012.11.014
Source: PubMed


To examine post-rape substance use, associated post rape medical and social concern variables, and past year substance abuse among women reporting having received medical care following a most recent or only lifetime incident of rape.

Using a subsample of women who received post-rape medical care following a most recent or only rape incident (n=104) drawn from a national household probability sample of U.S. women, the current study described the extent of peritraumatic substance use, past year substance misuse behaviors, post-rape HIV and pregnancy concerns, and lifetime mental health service utilization as a function of substance use at time of incident.

One-third (33%) of women seeking post-rape medical attention reported consuming alcohol or drugs at the time of their rape incident. Nearly one in four (24.7%) and one in seven (15%) women seeking medical attention following their most recent rape incident endorsed drug (marijuana, illicit, non-medical use of prescription drugs, or club drug) use or met substance abuse criteria, respectively, in the past year. One in twelve (8.4%) women reported at least monthly binge drinking in the past year. Approximately two-thirds of women reported seeking services for mental health needs in their lifetime. Post-rape concerns among women reporting peritraumatic substance use were not significantly different from those of women not reporting such use.

Substance use was reported by approximately one-third of women and past year substance abuse was common among those seeking post-rape medical care. Implications for service delivery, intervention implementation, and future research are discussed.

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