A new study from the prohibitionist propaganda mill known as the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse declares that "girls and young women are more vulnerable to abuse and addiction" than boys and young men. CASA, you may recall, was the outfit that last year claimed "children drink 25 percent of [the] alcohol consumed in the U.S." It turned out that many of these "children" actually were adults (18- 19- and 20-year-olds) and that the the true number was more like 11 percent, meaning that CASA was off by a factor of more than two.
In light of that episode, you may wonder whether CASA's latest claim is any better grounded in reality. Rightly so. Rather counterintuitively, the purported greater vulnerability of girls and young women to abuse and addiction does not mean they are more likely to abuse drugs or become addicted to them. An overview of results from the annual Monitoring the Future Study, which surveys high school and college students, summarizes the gender patterns this way: "Generally, we have found males to have somewhat higher rates of illicit drug use than do females (particularly higher rates of frequent use), much higher rates of smokeless tobacco and steroid use, higher rates of heavy drinking, and roughly equivalent rates of cigarette smoking." [Emphasis added.]