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Joseph Grillo


Methamphetamine abuse is a problem of public health importance among men and women in the United States. The two genders are affected even though the majority treatment programs are tailored for male alcohol addicts. The gender differences are prevalent in the acceptance of long-term substance abuse treatment programs. The study focuses on gender differences in methamphetamine abuse and whether both male and female addicts benefit from treatment. Respondent's suitability, participant's abuse condition, treatment, and progress questionnaires and interviews are used to collect data from 50 male and 50 female methamphetamine users at the Impact Residential Program in Montreal, Canada. Together, the four quantitative questionnaires yield common factors leading to methamphetamine abuse as weight loss and emotional stress for females, and increased physical activity for males. Descriptive statistics of median and quartiles are used to help describe outcomes of the treatment program. Stigma is identified as a common barrier to seeking treatment for both genders. Furthermore, parenting and childcare are not identified as barriers for females seeking treatment contrary to previous research findings but pregnancy is a key motivator to seeking treatment. The median and quartile descriptions reveal that both male and female methamphetamine abusers benefit equally from treatment programs. The findings of this study add knowledge on gender-specific efforts against methamphetamine abuse. Public health officers may use identified factors leading to methamphetamine use to foster preventive measures while officers working in treatment programs may use identified motivators and barriers to treatment to enhance program effectiveness.

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