Sex differences in drug and alcohol use among ethnic groups in Laos, 1965-1975

Joseph Westermeyer

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14 Scopus citations


Abstract Laos in the period 1965-1975 provided an opportunity to study sex differences in drug and alcohol use, as influenced by ethnicity. Several psychoactive substances were locally consumed, including opium, heroin, alcohol, tobacco, betel-areca, and cannabis, Much diversity occurred among the various ethnic groups with regard to male-female use of drugs and alcohol. Trends in these use patterns suggested the existence of certain principles which govern the male-female dimension of drug use. Social changes going on in the society were reflected in choice of substance forms by younger people as compared to their elders (e.g., cigarettes vs pipes or cigars, heroin vs opium, manufactured vs village-produced alcohol). Ecological factors, which contributed to drug availability, also were powerful in determining type of drugs and patterns of use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-461
Number of pages19
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1988

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by the National Institutes of Drug Abuse (grant no. R01 DA 01599), the Minnesota Medical Foundation, and the International Program Office at the University of Minnesota.


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