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Gender divide continues – men are three times more likely to be frequent drug users than women

Men are three times more likely to be frequent drug users than women and twice as likely to have taken illegal drugs at some point over the last year than women.

According to government statistics released this week

The trend is true for all the illicit substances included in the survey, from cannabis and cocaine to hallucinogens and ecstasy.

The gap between the sexes when it comes to drug use has remained more or less consistent for the last decade. Men are also less likely to consider the risks of drug taking – 27 per cent of men thought it was safe to smoke cannabis, compared to 15 per cent of women. While only one per cent of women thought it was safe to take ecstasy or cocaine, for men that figure was five per cent.

A psychiatrist specialising in addiction and drug abuse, says men are more naturally prone to take risks. “The higher rates of drug use we see among men compound a gender disadvantage we have from birth,” he said. “We get into accidents more regularly, we have more unhealthy lifestyles, we die earlier, we have less insight into our health and wellbeing. We’re generally predisposed to engage in a whole bunch of risky behaviours while being physiologically less equipped to deal with them.”

About Paul Hooper, WCC (575 Articles)
Group Manager: Community Safety and Substance Misuse
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