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Misuse of Prescription Drugs

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 August 2016

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NIDA. (2016, August 1). Misuse of Prescription Drugs. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs

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This series of reports simplifies the science of research findings for the educated lay public, legislators, educational groups, and practitioners. The series reports on research findings of national interest.

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