Substance Use in Women (2 credit hours)

Program Summary:  This course examines the ways in which women may differ from men in substance use and substance use disorder treatment.   The course looks at sex and gender differences related to the use of marijuana, stimulants, MDMA, heroin, prescription drugs, alcohol, and nicotine.   Research on substance use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding is also included.

This course is recommended for social workers, counselors, and therapists and is appropriate for beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of practice.  

Course Reading:  Substance Use in Women

Publisher:  National Institute on Drug Abuse Research Report Series

Find the reading at:

Course Objectives:  To enhance professional practice, values, skills, and knowledge by identifying key issues related to substance use in women.

Learning Objectives:   Compare sex and gender differences in substance use.  Compare sex and gender differences in substance use disorder treatment.  Describe research findings related to women who are pregnant and breastfeeding.  Identify the unique treatment needs for women.

Review our pre-reading study guide.

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1: _______ differences result from biological factors such as sex chromosomes and hormones.
2: For many years most animal and human research has traditionally used
3: Each of the following statements is true except:
4: Compared with men, women who are addicted to marijuana have higher rates of
5: Rates of seeking treatment for marijuana use disorder are
6: Women are more likely than men to report using methamphetamines
7: Research suggests that MDMA produces stronger hallucinatory effects in
8: Compared with men, women who use heroin are all of the following except:
9: Women between the ages of ______________ are more likely than women of other age groups to die from a prescription opioid overdose.
10: Comparing people with alcohol use disorders, women have death rates ______________ percent higher than do men, including deaths from suicides, alcohol-related accidents, heart disease, stroke, and liver disease.
11: Women become intoxicated from ___________ quantities of alcohol than men.
12: Women are __________ likely than men to quit smoking and ___________ likely to relapse if they do quit.
13: Symptoms of drug withdrawal in a newborn can develop immediately or up to __________ days after birth.
14: Which of the following is associated with a greater risk of stillbirth?
15: A recent study suggests that cannabis use was more common among pregnant women during the ____________ trimester.
Given the potential of marijuana to negatively impact the developing brain, the ACOG recommends that OBGYNs counsel women against using marijuana
17: One study found that women were about twice as likely to screen positive for marijuana use via
18: Cocaine and its metabolites are still present in the baby's body up to _________ after delivery.
19: Alcohol can disrupt fetal development
20: Nicotine readily crosses the placenta, and concentrations of this drug in the blood of the fetus can be as much as ______________ higher than in the mother.
21: Recent research provides _________ that nicotine is a gateway drug, making the brain more sensitive to the effects of other drugs such as cocaine.
22: There are more ____________ in treatment for substance use disorders.
23: Substance use disorders may progress differently for women than for men.  Women show a __________ progression from first using the substance to developing the dependence.
24: Many women who are pregnant or have young children do not seek treatment or drop out of treatment early because
25: The stress on the heart due to smoking one pack of cigarettes per day is the equivalent of being _____________ overweight.
26: Pregnant women are more likely to stay in treatment programs if they provide services such as
27: Federal law requires that _____________ receive priority admission into publicly funded substance use disorder treatment programs, allowing them to bypass waiting lists and gain immediate admission when a bed in a residential program is available.
28: For co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, both disorders should be treated ___________ to improve the likelihood of success.
29: Women are more vulnerable to developing substance use or other mental health disorders following
30: Which group of women are more likely to be victims of rape, physical violence, and stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime- issues that are risk factors for substance use.

In order to purchase or take this course, you will need to log in. If you do not have an account, you will need to register for a free account.

After you log in, a link will appear here that will allow you to purchase this course.


Free State Social Work, LLC, provider #1235, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Free State Social Work, LLC maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 9/6/2018 - 9/6/2021. Social workers completing this course receive 2 continuing education credits.

Free State Social Work has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP NO. 6605. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Free State Social Work is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

G.M. Rydberg-Cox, MSW, LSCSW is the Continuing Education Director at Free State Social Work and responsible for the development of this course.  She received her Masters of Social Work in 1996 from the Jane Addams School of Social Work at the University of Illinois-Chicago and she has over 20 years of experience.  She has lived and worked as a social worker in Chicago, Boston, and Kansas City.  She currently practices in the area of hospital/medical social work.  The reading materials for this course were developed by another organization.