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.

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    • "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). "
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    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
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    • "It is primarily to be used with institutional correctional agencies in an effort to provide feedback in areas of strength and improvement that surround gender-responsive practices. Similar to the GRPPA, the Center for Gender and Justice also published a Gender- Responsive Program Assessment (Covington and Bloom, 2008) designed to be an internal self-assessment for agencies working with women and girls. It consists of seven domains: (1) Theoretical foundation and mission statement (2) Site and facility (3) Administration and staffing (4) Program environment and culture (5) Treatment planning (6) Program development (7) Program assessment Furthermore, Patricia Van Voorhis from the University of Cincinnati is currently developing the Gender Responsive Correctional Program Assessment Inventory (GRCPAI), which is being piloted among several correctional agencies (P. "

    Criminology & Public Policy 06/2015; 14(2). DOI:10.1111/1745-9133.12131
    • "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. "
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    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
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