The results of a study released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicated that female veterans are not as likely to engage in the abuse of illegal drugs, cigarettes, or alcohol, as opposed to their male counterparts.
A feature on the Navy Times shared that in a comparison between male and female veterans between the ages of 20 to 39, only 23 percent of female veterans consumed more than five alcoholic beverages
in one sitting, as opposed to 43 percent among male veterans. It was determined 13 percent of male veterans were more likely to use illegal drugs, versus 10 percent of female veterans, while 33 percent of women veterans smoked
in the last month against 43 percent among their male counterparts.
These results, however, should not be taken to mean that women should be at the bottom of the totem pole in the fight against substance abuse among veterans. In a press release, SAMHSA Pamela Hyde said: “Although this survey finds some striking differences in the levels of substance use among female and male veterans, it is important to remember that many female veterans may have other critical behavioral healthcare needs due to the unique conditions they may have experienced during their service… thus it is essential that comprehensive behavioral healthcare services are provided to meet the challenges facing all veterans.”
The study, however, indicated that the difference in the rates of prescription drug abuse
between male and female veterans did not have much of a difference. Pain reliever, stimulant and tranquilizer abuse rates were at 4 percent for men, and 3.5 for women.