Researchers Find Potential Genetic Predisposition to Cocaine Addiction in Females

By Staff Writer

Females who use cocaine may have more to gain from substance abuse treatment than males, as a team of researchers from the University of California has found that they are more likely to seek the drug.

Statistics show that women are more likely to enter rehab facilities for cocaine addiction and that they experience fewer cocaine-free days than men who are addicted to the drug. The University of California, Santa Barbara team decided to find more evidence of a female preference for cocaine.

In their study, researchers trained male and female mice to push levers that would give them access to cocaine and food. They found that female mice pushed the cocaine lever significantly more than the males.

Researchers said that the findings may indicate a genetic predisposition among females to cocaine-seeking behavior. The findings could have major implications for the way that rehab facilities approach treating members of different sexes. Additionally, they could help public health officials determine the best use of their resources.