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Women who are suffering from a major depressive episode when they enter drug court are at substantially greater risk of using crack cocaine within four months, compared with women who are not currently depressed, according to a new study.

UPI reports that women who had suffered depression in the past but were not depressed at the time of the study were not at increased risk of using crack cocaine. “Screening for depression and effective depression treatment may be important components of drug court services,” lead researcher, Jennifer Johnson, of Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School said in a news release.

The researchers studied 261 women in drug court. They found those suffering from a major depressive episode were nearly four times as likely to use crack during the following four months compared with women who had been depressed at some time in the past. Currently depressed women were almost six times as likely to use crack in the following four months compared with women who were depressed in the last year, but who were not currently depressed.

The study appears in the current issue of the journal Addiction.


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