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Drug Use Disorders: Gender and Sex Differences

Drug use disorder (DUD) refers to a pattern of drug use behavior that leads to clinically significant distress or functional impairment in important life domains. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), outlines 11 potential criteria of a drug use disorder, two of which must be met to meet the diagnostic threshold. Although gender and sex are often used interchangeably, gender differences refer to socially constructed differences between men and women, and sex differences refer to distinctions based on biological sex characteristics. Gender and sex have been associated with differences in patterns of onset and maintenance, lifetime prevalence, and biological and psychological factors associated with drug use for men and women. Research on differences in drug use and problems for ...

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