Gender differences in a clinical trial for prescription opioid dependence

R. Kathryn McHugh, Elise E. DeVito, Dorian Dodd, Kathleen M. Carroll, Jennifer Sharpe Potter, Shelly F. Greenfield, Hilary Smith Connery, Roger D. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

169 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Gender
  • Opioid dependence
  • Prescription opioids
  • Sex differences
  • Treatment outcome
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Gender differences in a clinical trial for prescription opioid dependence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this