Psychological Burden and Gender Differences in Methamphetamine-Dependent Individuals in Treatment

Jamie L. Simpson, Kathleen M Grant, Patrick M. Daly, Stephanie G. Kelley, Gustavo Carlo, Rick A. Bevins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Little is known about gender differences in methamphetamine (METH)-dependent users. The objective of this study was to examine potential gender differences in four domains: drug use history, psychological burden, current symptomology, and coping strategy. Methods: One hundred twenty four METH-dependent individuals (men; n = 75) were enrolled from substance use treatment programs. Participants filled out detailed questionnaires in the four domains. Results: Men reported earlier first alcohol and drug use than women, but there was no difference in the age of first METH use or frequency of METH use. Women reported experiencing problems because of METH use at a younger age. Women were also more likely to have injected METH in the past year and they reported greater severity of drug problems compared to men. METH-dependent women had greater psychological burden, reported more use of an emotional-coping strategy, and had greater childhood emotional and sexual trauma. Conclusions: Overall, this study suggests that, unlike many other illicit drugs, severity of use and problems associated with use were not elevated in METH-dependent men compared to women. In fact, several factors indicated more severe patterns of use or risk factors in women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-269
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 7 2016


  • Coping
  • drug abuse
  • gender difference
  • methamphetamine use disorder
  • social support
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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