TF Archives

Cocaine Addiction Dangers: Women At Greatest Risk

Author: Jonty Adderley
Sunday, November 25, 2001
Routine changes in the hormone levels in women's brains could put women more at risk than men of becoming addicted to cocaine, US scientists claimed this week. Neuroscientists from the University of Michigan announced their conclusions after conducting a study which involved giving varying doses of oestrogen and cocaine to 200 mice over a three week period.

"I'm a feminist and don't subscribe to old-school ideas that women are the weaker sex," said Dr Jill Becker. "Yet what these findings suggest is that when it comes to drug use, women should be especially cautious" (Daily Telegraph).

The report coincided with a provocative article in the London Standard, written by self confessed cocaine user and top establishment journalist Toby Young, in which he claimed that, "the entire country's blanketed in a blizzard of white powder."

"Forensic testing in London's smartest establishments revealed that nose candy was being inhaled in the Savoy, the Ritz and the Royal Opera House. No wonder Britannia's cool again," he suggested.

Despite Young's relatively flippant approach, an estimated 10% of cocaine users end up being addicted, according to a new "unbiased" drug guide published with in FHM's new spin-off magazine Bionic.

"Everyone starts using cocaine in a non-dependent fashion, no-one thinks they'll end up in a dependency unit," said Dr Adam Winstock from the National Addiction Centre.

"Crunch time comes when their tolerance levels are raised. At this point, they either give up because it's now costing as much to have less of a good time, or they up (increase) their levels and get hooked."