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Girls' Substance Abuse Up

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Washington

Women and girls are increasingly likely to abuse substances at the same rate as men, and women are smoking, drinking, and using drugs at younger ages than ever before, says a report released here last week.

The 251-page "Substance Abuse and the American Woman," draws on hundreds of articles, surveys, government reports, and books. The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University released the two-year study, which was financed by the New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and the Philadelphia-based Pew Charitable Trusts.

The report says girls today are 15 times more likely than their mothers to have begun using illegal drugs by age 15. And it calls for a major substance-abuse-prevention campaign to be targeted at adolescent girls.

The report calls on women's magazines to stop accepting tobacco ads and urges the fashion and entertainment industries to stop using rail-thin models.

Copies of the study are available for $20 each from the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Columbia University, 152 W. 57th St., 12th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10019; (212) 841-5200.

--Millicent Lawton

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