TABLE 1

Sex differences in addiction to different classes of drugsa

DrugSpeciesStage of Addiction Cycle
Binge/IntoxicationWithdrawal/Negative AffectPreoccupation/Anticipation
AlcoholHumans• Escalation of use F > M (qualitative)• Negative affect F > M (qualitative)• Stress or anxiety-induced relapse F > M (qualitative)
• Amount of intake M > F (quantitative)
• Incidence M > F (population)
Rodents• Amount of intake F > M (quantitative)• Withdrawal symptoms M > F (quantitative)• Stress-induced reinstatement F > M (qualitative)
• In some studies intake does not differ F = M
CocaineHumans• Escalation of use F > M (qualitative)• Negative affect F > M (qualitative)• Stress-induced relapse F > M (qualitative)
• Amount of intake F > M (quantitative)• Cue-induced relapse F > M (qualitative)
• Incidence M > F (population)• Cue-induced craving F > M (qualitative)
Rodents• Escalation of use F > M (qualitative)• Withdrawal symptoms F > M (quantitative)• Stress-induced reinstatement F > M (qualitative)
• Amount of intake and motivation F > M (quantitative)• Cue-induced reinstatement F > M (qualitative)
• Incidence F > M (population)
OpiatesHumans• Incidence M > F (population)
Rodents• Reward/conditioned place preference F > M (quantitative)• Symptoms/duration of symptoms M > F (quantitative)
• Acquisition of self-administration F faster than M (qualitative)• Acoustic startle as withdrawal index M = F (quantitative)
• Motivation F > M (quantitative)
NicotineHumans• Stress promotes initiation in women (qualitative)• Negative affect F > M (qualitative)• Higher cortisol predicts relapse in women (qualitative)
• Women acquire self-administration at lower doses than men (quantitative)• Lower cortisol and craving predict relapse in men (qualitative)
• Amount of intake F > M (quantitative)• Stress promotes relapse in women (qualitative)
Rodents• Stress promotes initiation in females and not males (qualitative)• Stress and anxiety F > M (quantitative)• No sex difference in stress-induced reinstatement
• Greater physical signs of withdrawal F > M (quantitative)• Stress promotes relapse in females (qualitative)
CannabinoidsHumans• Women report enhanced subjective ratings in response to smoked cannabis and progress from use to disordered use more rapidly than men (qualitative)
Rodents• F acquire faster than M (quantitative)• Anxiogenic symptoms F > M (qualitative); Anxiolytic symptoms M > F (qualitative); No sex differences in precipitated withdrawal• Cue-induced reinstatement F > M (qualitative)
• Amount of intake F > M (quantitative)
  • a For summarizing information presented in this article, see text for references.