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More women than men now seeking help for alcohol dependency
The latest study into drug (including alcohol) dependency in Spain has shown that the number of women seeking help for addiction surpassed the number of men in 2016.
The study, carried out by UNAD (Union of Drug Addiction Organisations and Associations), showed that alcohol is now the most common drug for those seeking help for addiction - 31% of women who sought help for addiction in 2016 did so for alcohol addiction, compared to 27% in the case of men.
Luciano Poyatos, president of UNAD, explained in a press conference that the conclusions had been drawn from data collected from the 56,160 people helped by the 158 organisations in the network. In total, 14,342 more people sought help than during the previous year and the data collected provides a telling profile for addiction: aged between 26 and 44, habitually using various different types of drug, seeking help primarily for addiction to alcohol.
81% of all those seeking help use a number of drugs, with cocaine being the most common one after alcohol. Cannabis is the third most common substance (used by 20% of those who sought help for the first time last year) and the percentage of people who consume heroine (15%) has gone down in comparison with previous years.
The use of tranquilisers and sleeping pills is twice as high amongst women as it is amongst men, although it is still very low.
The study also revealed that more than 50% of those seeking help for their addictions have been using drugs for over 11 years, although in the case of women, the average is closer to six years.
The difference between addiction in men and women was one of the results highlighted by Francisco Babín, the MP heading up the latest national Drug Action Plan, who said that it would form "one of the fundamental pillars" of the government's new strategy for 2017-2024.
With regard to problems of non-substance-based addiction dealt with by the organisation, the vast majority are men (72%) and over half of them between the ages of 26 and 44. Most have problems with gambling (38%), addiction to their mobile 'phone (19%), the internet (15%) and video games (13%).
There are big differences between men and women in this category too: whereas women's main addiction is their mobile 'phone, for men it's gambling.
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