Alcohol is the most powerful and popular substance used by women in the United States, and its use has been on the rise over the past 10 years. Younger women drink more than older women, but income and education influence these patterns as women age. While women's safe-drinking limit is four drinks per sitting, over 40 percent of 18 to 19 year olds drink more than that Compared to men, women suffer more relationship violence and other problems in addition to their own and others' alcohol use.
Tobacco remains the most damaging drug
Because there is no safe level of use, tobacco remains the most damaging drug for women but many women and girls still smoke. While rates of smoking are decreasing among women overall, poor women, single mothers and Aboriginal girls and women are more likely to smoke.Cannabis is increasingly popular among young Canadian women; its use has increased threefold in the last 15 years.
Women with mental hearth disorders sometimes selfmedicate with cannabis and/or tobacco. Although twice as many women as men use cannabis to alleviate depression (according to the Canadian Addiction Survey), other illicit drugs are much less popular among women. Only 12 percent of Canadian women have used an illicrt drug (excluding cannabis) in their lifetime. Among the illicit drugs used by women, the most common drugs are cocaine (7.1%) and hallucinogens (7.1 %), followed by speed and ecstasy (4.1% and 3.0% respectively). Most illicit drug use begins in the late teen years among women, with usage peaking in the mid-twenties.