Three groups of female inpatients were compared with each other with regard to criminal behavior: 51 patients with alcohol dependence, 39 patients with drug (mostly opioid) dependence and 488 patients not fulfilling DSM-IV criteria for substance dependence. 45% of the alcohol-dependent patients, 74% of the drug-dependent patients and 15% of the psychiatric comparison group had a criminal record compared to only 2% of the female reference general population. Comparing criminal with noncriminal patients in both groups with substance dependence, patients with a criminal record were significantly younger than patients without a criminal record; however, otherwise only very few differences appeared. In contrast, alcohol-dependent and drug-dependent female patients with a criminal record appear to represent two quite different populations.

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