Women linked to drug abuse at depression risk

November 14th, 2011 - 7:23 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 14 (IANS) Women linked to drug abuse in any form — as partners of drug abusers or narcotics consumers themselves — are more vulnerable to mental health disorders than other women, experts said here Monday.

“Looking at drug abuse through the prism of gender has always been ignored. But studies have shown that women related to drug abuse in any manner are more vulnerable to harming their mental health,” said Pratima Murthy, chief of centre for addiction medicine at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore.

She was speaking at the 12th United Nations (UN) roundtable conference on communication for development.

UN representatives from Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Britain and US will be participating in the four-day conference.

“Women living in an environment where drug abuse is practiced or where they subject themselves to drug abuse are likely to have suicidal ideation, depression, and other mental health disorders,” Murthy, a professor of psychiatry, added.

According to a 2008 report by the UN Office on Drug Control (UNODC) on drug use in India, women are doubly affected by drugs — both as substance abusers and as partners of substance abusers.

In 2007, nearly 40 percent female frequent substance abusers (FSUs) reported suicide attempts, the report said.

Nearly 34 percent of female FSUs reported that they had attempted to take their lives during the course of substance abuse, while 48 percent had suicidal thoughts.

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