environmental cues and associated the environment in which cocaine was administered with the drug itself more than males did, treatment providers should consider understanding that the environment is a bigger problem for females, Calipari said. “Treatments that work for males may not work for females. We may have to do something different.”

Historically, addiction treatment programs were tailored for men, as most studies used only male subjects.

“A lot of the work we did before focused on male subjects, which is something a lot of scientists do because it’s the standard,” Calipari said. “But females are somewhat more complicated because of ovarian hormonal levels that fluctuate over different time points at different times of the day.”

The next step for Calipari is to expand the latest research into a larger project, which will examine how much potential birth control pills have in helping females struggling with addiction.

The female subjects analyzed for this study were experiencing unstable hormonal levels, which means different scenarios will need to be explored before researchers can determine whether the problematic factor for females is the presence or instability of estrogen.

“The question now is about the underlying problem here,” Calipari said. “Is it the fact that estrogens are there or not, or is it the fact that they’re fluctuating in this cyclical pattern? If [the latter is the problem] we can start to do hormonal replacement therapy and see if that helps.”

Why are women more likely to get hooked on cocaine?
Article Name
Why are women more likely to get hooked on cocaine?
On January 10, the Journal Nature Communications published a study conducted by researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine, at the Manhattan-based Mount Sinai Hospital, which revealed that hormonal fluctuations explain why women who try cocaine are more likely to get addicted than men. The researchers also concluded that women are more likely to start using cocaine at an earlier age and in larger quantities than men are; consequently, women display more difficulty remaining abstinent around cocaine than men.
Livia Areas-Holmblad
Publisher Name
Addiction Now