Objectives: The study examined the prevalence of substance use, psychiatric, and medical disorders in female veterans discharged from VA hospitals. Methods: The VA discharge abstract database was used to identify women discharged in fiscal year 1991 who received a diagnosis of substance abuse or dependence or substance-induced psychosis (N = 1,698). They were compared with female veterans who did not receive a substance-related diagnosis (N=12,037). Results: Alcohol and cocaine use disorders were the most prevalent substance use disorders. Women with substance use disorders were more frequently diagnosed as having personality disorders, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder than women without substance use disorders. Skin and subcutaneous tissue diseases, infectious and parasitic diseases, and digestive diseases were more prevalent among women with substance use disorders than among women in the same age group who did not have substance use disorders. Approximately 44 percent of women with substance use disorders who were discharged during the first six months of fiscal year 1991 were rehospitalized within that year. Conclusions: Substance use disorders and associated comorbidities are endemic among women treated in VA hospitals. Additional studies examining characteristics of indigent women with substance use disorders are needed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health