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Prescription Drug Abuse

Gender differences

Graph: Past-Year Nonmedical Use of Psychotherapeutics Among Persons 12 or Older, by Gender and Age Group Annual averages based on 2002-2005

Overall, more males than females abuse prescription drugs in all age groups except the youngest (aged 12 to 17 years); that is, females in this age group exceed males in the nonmedical use of all psychotherapeutics, including pain relievers, tranquilizers, and stimulants. Among nonmedical users of prescription drugs, females 12 to 17 years old are also more likely to meet abuse or dependence criteria for psychotherapeutics (see figure).

This page was last updated November 2014

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