Gender differences in alcohol and substance use relapse

Research Institute on Addictions/University at Buffalo, 1021 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14203, United States.
Clinical Psychology Review (Impact Factor: 7.18). 04/2006; 26(2):128-48. DOI: 10.1016/j.cpr.2005.11.003
Source: PubMed


This review explores gender differences in relapse and characteristics of relapse events in alcohol and substance use. For alcohol, relapse rates were similar across gender. Although negative mood, childhood sexual abuse, alcohol-related self-efficacy, and poorer coping strategies predicted alcohol relapse, gender did not moderate these effects. Gender did moderate the association between marriage and alcohol relapse. For women, marriage and marital stress were risk factors for alcohol relapse; among men, marriage lowered relapse risk. This gender difference in the role of marriage in relapse may be a result of partner differences in problem drinking. Alcoholic women are more likely to be married to heavy drinking partners than are alcoholic men; thus, alcoholic women may be put at risk of relapse by marriage and alcoholic men may be protected by marriage. There are fewer studies documenting gender differences in substance abuse relapse so conclusions are limited and tentative. In contrast to the lack of gender differences in alcohol relapse rates, women appear less likely to experience relapse to substance use, relative to men. Women relapsing to substance use appear to be more sensitive to negative affect and interpersonal problems. Men, in contrast, may be more likely to have positive experiences prior to relapse.

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    • "This can potentially be explained by the findings of other researchers that psychoactive substances cause more severe mental health complications in women (Hernandez-Avila et al., 2004), that SUD women have a tendency to mention external problems underestimating internal problems (Plant et al., 2009), that female alcohol addicts are more often diagnosed with depressive mood (Walter et al., 2003) and that female SUD are characterized by more rapid cerebral atrophy development (Hommer et al., 2001; Mann et al., 2005; Maurage et al., 2008). Furthermore, the fact that SUD women are more often married with addictive and aggressive partners (Witkiewitz, 2005; Walitzer, Dearing, 2006), namely, persons with more severe psychosocial functioning impairments in terms of emotional and social performance, can point to more severe psychosocial functioning impairments of SUD women themselves. However, further research is required to find out the reasons for gender differences in the changes of indicators. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aim: to estimate indicator changes of Social Intelligence (SI) of substance use disorders (SUD) patients before Minnesota program (MP), after MP treatment and six months later. Material and methods: The first measurement was done at the beginning of treatment in Minnesota program (MP), the second measurement was done, when program was finished. The third measurement was done 6 months after treatment. Selection of research was composed by 204 respondents with diagnosis of SUD (F10.2 – F19.2, ICD-10), average age 36,9 (SD = 11, 1); 61.3% − male; 79.4% − alcoholics. Instruments: Trømso Social Intelligence Scale, TSIS (Silvera, Martinussen, Dahl, 2001). Scale of SI consists of 21 items, building 3 factors: Social information processing (SP), social skills (SS), social awareness (SA). Descriptive and ANOVA was used for data processing. Results and Conclusions. After data of descriptive statistic, SI indicators increase for MP patients in all 3 scales after treatment and 6 months later. In comparing SI results for MP patients both male and female, in all three measurements, descriptive and conclusive statistical data (Bonferroni test) show that statistically significant time effect (p ≤ 0.05) appears in the total SI for men, furthermore, the changes occurred between the 1st and 3rd measurements.
    International interdisciplinary Scientific Conference Society. Health. Welfare., 00045; 01/2014
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    • "Importantly, it has been suggested that these emotional decoding impairments might influence social interactions and participate in the maintenance of the pathological state (Walitzer and Dearing, 2006). Indeed, as the development and preservation of adapted social communication is largely based on the ability to correctly express one's own emotional states and to accurately perceive (and react to) those expressed by others (Feldman et al., 1991), the emotional deficits might give rise to impaired interpersonal interactions and could increase the social problems frequently observed in alcohol-dependence. "
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    ABSTRACT: Crossmodal processing (i.e., the construction of a unified representation stemming from distinct sensorial modalities inputs) constitutes a crucial ability in humans’ everyday life. It has been extensively explored at cognitive and cerebral levels during the last decade among healthy controls. Paradoxically however, and while difficulties to perform this integrative process have been suggested in a large range of psychopathological states (e.g., schizophrenia and autism), these crossmodal paradigms have been very rarely used in the exploration of psychiatric populations. The main aim of the present paper is thus to underline the experimental and clinical usefulness of exploring crossmodal processes in psychiatry. We will illustrate this proposal by means of the recent data obtained in the crossmodal exploration of emotional alterations in alcohol-dependence. Indeed, emotional decoding impairments might have a role in the development and maintenance of alcohol-dependence, and have been extensively investigated by means of experiments using separated visual or auditory stimulations. Besides these unimodal explorations, we have recently conducted several studies using audio-visual crossmodal paradigms, which has allowed us to improve the ecological validity of the unimodal experimental designs and to offer new insights on the emotional alterations among alcohol-dependent individuals. We will show how these preliminary results can be extended to develop a coherent and ambitious research program using crossmodal designs in various psychiatric populations and sensory modalities. We will finally end the paper by underlining the various potential clinical applications and the fundamental implications that can be raised by this emerging project.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 07/2013; 7:394. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00394 · 3.63 Impact Factor
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    • "Consequently , researchers and health practitioners are drawing their attention to the risks associated with drinking behaviour among women. Many studies on gender diversity in alcohol use have identified swingeing differences between man and woman, not only in the propensity for alcohol use but also in their behavioural effects [43] [44] [45]. For instance, women display shorter intervals between the onset of drinking and the emergence of drinking-related disturbances and therefore a different sensitivity to a number of acute and chronic effects of ethanol, when compared to men [46] [47] [48]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Alcohol abuse is a substantial and growing health problem in Western societies. In the last years in vivo and in vitro studies have suggested that males and females display a different alcohol drinking behaviour, with swingeing differences not only in the propensity for alcohol use but also in the metabolic and behavioural consequences. In this study we investigated, in adult female rats, ethanol self-administration and preference pattern using a 3-bottle paradigm with water, 10% ethanol solution, and white wine (10%, v/v), along a four-week period. The influence of alcohol free-access on explorative behaviour in the open field (OF), and on spatial learning and reference memory in the Morris water maze (MWM) were also evaluated. Our results indicate that: (i) female rats show a higher preference for alcohol, in the first two weeks of the paradigm, displaying a higher consumption of 10% ethanol solution than white wine; in the last two weeks, they reduce their alcoholic preference, drinking the same moderate amounts of the two alcoholic beverages; (ii) at the fourth week of the free-access paradigm rats show a lower explorative behaviour in the open field and a worsening in spatial memory retention in the Morris water maze. In conclusion our data suggest that, despite the ability to self-regulate alcohol intake, female rats suffer from relevant impairments in spatial memory retention and cognitive flexibility, displaying a sexually dimorphic modification in the adaptive strategies.
    Behavioural brain research 06/2012; 234(1):11-9. DOI:10.1016/j.bbr.2012.05.018 · 3.03 Impact Factor
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