Girls' Substance Abuse Up

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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

Vol. 15, Issue 38

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