THURSDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. female veterans are
much less likely than their male counterparts to binge-drink, smoke
cigarettes or use illicit drugs, a new study finds.
However, female and male veterans are equally likely to abuse
prescription drugs, according to the Center for Behavioral Health
Statistics and Quality.
The findings come from an analysis of 2002 to 2009 data from the
annual National Survey of Drug Use and Health.
Since the 1970s, the proportion of women serving in the U.S.
military has risen significantly, and more women have been deployed
to combat areas in a number of roles, including as combat support
Along with facing the same service-related sources of stress as
their male counterparts, women in the military face additional
stress associated with being in a male-dominated profession,
according to the study.
Previous research has found that veterans are more likely to
drink, smoke or use drugs than nonveterans, but there is little
published data comparing rates of substance use by female and male
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has more about
women veterans' health.