Women and addiction: A trauma-informed approach

Center for Gender and Justice, Institute for Relational Development, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.
Journal of psychoactive drugs (Impact Factor: 1.1). 12/2008; Suppl 5(sup5):377-85. DOI: 10.1080/02791072.2008.10400665
Source: PubMed


Historically, substance abuse treatment has developed as a single-focused intervention based on the needs of addicted men. Counselors focused only on the addiction and assumed that other issues would either resolve themselves through recovery or would be dealt with by another helping professional at a later time. However, treatment for women's addictions is apt to be ineffective unless it acknowledges the realities of women's lives, which include the high prevalence of violence and other types of abuse. A history of being abused increases the likelihood that a woman will abuse alcohol and other drugs. This article presents the definition of and principles for gender-responsive services and the Women's Integrated Treatment (WIT) model. This model is based on three foundational theories: relational-cultural theory, addiction theory, and trauma theory. It also recommends gender-responsive, trauma-informed curricula to use for women's and girls' treatment services.

3 Reads
  • Source
    • "Trauma-Informed Support Covington (2008) described trauma as both a negative event (e.g., experiencing or witnessing violence) and a particular response of fear and helplessness in response to that event. Trauma is often a gendered experience , as women are more likely than men to experience physical and sexual abuse, often from their intimate partners (Covington, 2008). Smoking cigarettes might be a more common response to trauma or psychological distress among women than men (Cisler et al., 2011). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite high rates of smoking among some subgroups of women, there is a lack of tailored interventions to address smoking cessation among women. We identify components of a women-centered approach to tobacco cessation by analyzing 3 bodies of literature: sex and gender influences in tobacco use and addiction; evidence-based tobacco cessation guidelines; and best practices in delivery of women-centered care. Programming for underserved women should be tailored, build confidence and increase motivation, integrate social justice issues and address inequities, and be holistic and comprehensive. Addressing the complexity of women’s smoking and tailoring appropriately could help address smoking among subpopulations of women.
    Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions 07/2015; 15(3):267-287. DOI:10.1080/1533256X.2015.1054231
    • "But does trauma-informed practice provide the level of intervention needed for female prisoners who have extensive histories of trauma? There is limited but emerging research on best treatment practices for women with trauma histories who find themselves in correctional settings (Covington, 2008; N. A. Miller & Najavits, 2012; Najavits, 2002). Finkelstein et al. (2004) recommend that treatment for substance abuse in the presence of trauma requires a combination of both trauma-specific and trauma-informed approaches. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Female prisoners have extensive trauma histories and complex treatment needs that contribute to their criminality, yet trauma screening and treatment is not widespread in prisons. This article examines qualitative data gathered from face-to-face interviews with 31 female offenders in Canadian prisons. Using a grounded theory approach we demonstrate an unmet need for trauma-specific services for female offenders. These services go beyond trauma-informed practice and treat the psychological and behavioral sequelae of trauma exposure (e.g., mental illness and addictions) to facilitate recovery. The findings suggest that women in prison want and need specific treatment for trauma exposure. Integrating trauma-specific services involves a cultural shift within the prison environment that might be achieved by positioning trauma within the risk–need–responsivity model as an additional risk factor for criminality. Although counter to the public health perspective that trauma is a health concern, it is a way to ensure that trauma becomes part of the battery of care in corrections so that the needs of traumatized women are addressed while they are in custody. This was a unique opportunity to learn about what women would like to help deal with their experiences of trauma.
    Women & Criminal Justice 01/2015; DOI:10.1080/08974454.2014.909760
  • Source
    • "We hypothesized that 1) mothers would be more willing than fathers, and 2) parents who report alcohol use only would be more willing than those entering treatment for a drug or a combination of drug and alcohol use. Because child age may be associated with a parent's willingness to allow mental health treatment for their children (i.e., Covington, 2008), child age was included as a covariate in the models. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine attitudes of substance-abusing mothers and fathers entering outpatient treatment toward allowing their children to participate in individual- or family-based interventions. Data were collected from a brief anonymous survey completed by adults at intake into a large substance abuse treatment program in western New York. Only one-third of parents reported they would be willing to allow their children to participate in any form of mental health treatment. Results of chi-square analyses revealed that a significantly greater proportion of mothers reported they would allow their children to participate in mental health treatment (41%) compared to fathers (28%). Results of logistic regression analyses revealed even after controlling for child age, mothers were more likely than fathers indicate their willingness to allow their children to receive mental health treatment; however, type of substance abuse (alcohol versus drug abuse) was not associated with parents’ willingness to allow their children to receive treatment. Parental reluctance to allow their children to receive individual or family-based treatment is a significant barrier in efforts to intervene with these at-risk children.
    Journal of substance abuse treatment 07/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.jsat.2014.02.007 · 2.90 Impact Factor
Show more