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Women in Alcohol Treatment

April, 2009 marks the 22nd year of Alcohol Awareness Month.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers is participating with a series of articles meant to inform and educate the general public about alcohol abuse, dependence and treatment.  Considering that over 21 million Americans meet the criteria for alcohol abuse and over 53 million admit to past-month binge drinking, not to mention the many loved ones affected by each, our efforts are worthwhile.

The percentages of women who enter alcohol treatment and remain through completion are lower than for men.  Reasons for the difference appear to revolve around family and security.

Alcohol dependent mothers may know they need detox and treatment.  But some do not have the resources or family to provide child care in a time of absence.  Also, depression and false sense of reality due to alcoholism creates fear in leaving children with even the most trusted family members.

Many women with alcohol problems have histories that could make them feel uncomfortable in a coed treatment setting.  The distraction of discomfort, and inability to share feelings freely, makes treatment less effective and is a major reason for early discharges.

Tarzana Treatment Centers offers women-only treatment, including a facility for women and children.  As noted in the report excerpt below from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration this helps women enter treatment and complete it, leading to better lives for our patients and their children.

-- Begin external content --

Child Care Services

Most studies that evaluated the effectiveness of providing child care services to female clients in substance abuse treatment examined services for children living with their mothers in a residential treatment program. In one clinical trial, females who lived with their children in therapeutic community treatment programs remained in treatment significantly longer (mean length of stay [LOS] = 300 days) than females whose children were placed with caretakers (mean LOS = 102 days) (Hughes et al., 1995). Less rigorous studies also found that program changes enabling women to bring their children into residential treatment were associated with increased LOS (e.g., Stevens, Arbiter, & Glider, 1989; Wobie, Eyler, Conlon, Clarke, & Behnke, 1997). One study found that measures of depression were lower and measures of self-esteem were higher for females whose infants accompanied them to the treatment facility compared with females who did not have their infants in the treatment facility (Wobie et al., 1997). This study suggested that the earlier a mother's infant resides with her in the treatment setting, the longer the mother will stay in treatment.

Women-Only Treatment

Using a nonrandomized design, Grella and colleagues (1999) found that females treated in publicly funded women-only residential treatment programs in Los Angeles reported they had more problems, such as mental health issues and substance severity, than females at mixed-gender programs. However, the clients in women-only programs actually spent more time in treatment and were more than twice as likely to complete treatment than females in mixed-gender programs. In contrast, programs that treat male and female clients together are less able to attract and retain especially vulnerable females, such as lesbian women, women with a history of physical or sexual violence, women who have worked as prostitutes, and single parents (Copeland & Hall, 1992; Fullilove, Lown, & Fullilove, 1992; Grella, 1997; Pottieger, Inciardi, & Tressell, 1996).

-- Source: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/WomenTX/WomenTX.htm#2.4.1

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.

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