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Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research-Based Guide

Do girls and boys have different treatment needs?

Adolescent girls and boys may have different developmental and social issues that may call for different treatment strategies or emphases. For example, girls with substance use disorders may be more likely to also have mood disorders such as depression or to have experienced physical or sexual abuse. Boys with substance use disorders are more likely to also have conduct, behavioral, and learning problems, which may be very disruptive to their school, family, or community. Treatments should take into account the higher rate of internalizing and traumatic stress disorders among adolescent girls, the higher rate of externalizing disruptive disorders and juvenile justice problems among adolescent boys, and other gender differences that may play into adolescent substance use disorders.

This page was last updated January 2014

Do girls and boys have different treatment needs?

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National Institute on Drug Abuse (2014). Do girls and boys have different treatment needs?. In Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research-Based Guide. Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-adolescent-substance-use-disorder-treatment-research-based-guide/frequently-asked-questions/do-girls-boys-have-different-treatment-needs

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