Women Linked to Drug Abuse Are at Risk for Depression

An online article reports that women who are linked to drug abuse of any type, either as the partner of an abuser or the consumer themselves, are more likely to have mental health disorders than those who have remained drug free.

According to a study completed in 2008, women in India are affected doubly by either being the substance abuser or being the partner of one, says the report by the UNODC, or UN Office on Drug Control. Nearly 40 percent of women attempted suicide in 2007 who were frequent substance abusers, or FSUs. Pratima Murthy, at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Bangalore, India, says that when you look at drug abuse, the aspect of gender has long been ignored but studies show women who are related to drug abuse in any fashion are more vulnerable to mental health issues.

Murthy recently spoke at the 12th United Nations roundtable conference where there were representatives from several countries, including the United States and Britain. The four-day conference discussed how women who are living in environments where drug abuse is present, or where they are taking drugs themselves and become abusers, are more likely to have suicidal thoughts or battle depression or other mental health problems, said Murthy. The report found that almost 34 percent of FSUs had attempted suicide during their course of abusing drugs and 48 percent had thoughts that were suicidal.

There is a definite link between a history of drug abuse and the vulnerability of women developing mental health disorders that needs more research.

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