Although gender differences in substance use disorders have been identified, few studies have examined gender differences in prescription drug dependence. The aim of this study was to examine gender differences in clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes in a large clinical trial for prescription opioid dependence. Despite no pre-treatment differences in opioid dependence severity, women reported significantly greater functional impairment, greater psychiatric severity, and higher likelihood of using opioids to cope with negative affect and pain than men. Women were also more likely than men to have first obtained opioids via a legitimate prescription and to use opioids via the intended route of administration. Men reported significantly more alcohol problems than women. There were no significant gender differences in medication dose, treatment retention, or opioid outcomes. Thus, despite the presence of pre-treatment gender differences in this population, once the study treatment was initiated, women and men exhibited similar opioid use outcomes.
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