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December 2013
Dual Disorders/Pathology

VII National Course on Dual Pathology and Gender 19-20 June 2013, Valencia, Spain

ADOLESCENCE, DUAL PATHOLOGY AND FEMALE GENDER

Following the success in previous editions of this monographic Scientific Meeting organized by the Sociedad Española de Patología Dual, focussing on Dual Pathology and Gender, 2007 (Cocaine), 2008 (Alcohol), 2009 (Cannabis), 2010 (Hypnosedatives), 2011 (Opioids) and 2012 (Nicotine) it encouraged us to organize this seventh edition on Adolescence, Dual Pathology and Gender.

The meeting, organized by the Society’s Board jointly with a local Coordinating Committee was held at the Main Auditorium of the University of Valencia School of Medicine in Valencia, with strong support of local institutions. The meeting was attended by more than 350 mental-health specialists, primarily psychiatrist, and psychologists.

Research on gender differences in the area of Dual Pathology is relatively recent, although being a male or a female is significantly related with the development and clinical characteristics of the addictive disorders, as it is often the case, with other psychiatric disorders.

Although the differences between men and women are well documented, research rarely considers gender. In general, research, prevention and treatment of comorbid disorders are considered from the “male´s” position.

The differences in female’s dual pathology are related to both neurobiological and psychosocial factors, as well as with the structure of the individual, the family and the social network in which the subject is immersed.

Major societal changes have occurred in the past century regarding the female’s role. Today women have more professional and educational opportunities although they remain discriminated in many areas, such as salaries, job opportunities, and many other aspects.

Women’s incorporation to society in a more egalitarian position has also carried their incorporation to its more negative sides such as abuse of alcohol or other drugs often accompanied by various degree of comorbid psychiatric disorders.

Consumption of psychoactive drugs becomes particularly important during adolescence due to higher prevalence and severity of dual pathology, including a variety of psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety or depression, psychotic disorders, personality disorders among others, clearly with differentiated characteristics.

Awareness of these biologic and socio-cultural differences can aid clinicians to have a different clinical and therapeutic approach in women with dual pathology.

Nestor Szerman

Chair, WPA Section on Dual Disorders/ Pathology

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