The 2-day conference brought together leading researchers to present state-of-the-science findings, discuss research issues and challenges confronting the field, and lay the framework for the National Institute on Drug Abuse's research agenda in this area. The opening session contains papers that note drug abuse and addiction are among the most pressing health and social issues facing the United States, posing serious health risks and often tragic consequences for those who are afflicted as well as for their families and communities. Although extraordinary progress has been made in understanding these disorders and in finding the best ways to prevent and treat them, research on drug abuse and addiction related to women has, until relatively recently, been neglected. Most drug abuse interventions developed to date, including prevention and treatment programs, have largely been shaped by men's characteristics and needs. The scientific evidence generated thus far, however, suggests that drug abuse and addiction present different challenges to women's health, progress differently in females than in males, and may require different treatment approaches and strategies. Moreover, the rapid increase in AIDS cases among women in recent years makes it all the more critical to address gender differences as they relate to drug problems. In an effort to assess and begin to fill the gaps in knowledge about drug abuse and women's health, the papers in this volume focus on epidemiology of drug use and abuse among women, the impact of drugs on biological/behavioral mechanisms in women, gender issues in drug treatment, the etiology of drug abuse, the medical and health consequences of drug abuse, prevention, intervention, and legal and criminal justice issues. For individual papers, see NCJ-178172-75.