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Treatment Programs for Drug-Abusing Women

Karol L. Kumpfer
The Future of Children
Vol. 1, No. 1, Drug Exposed Infants (Spring, 1991), pp. 50-60
Published by: Princeton University
DOI: 10.2307/1602614
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1602614
Page Count: 11
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Treatment Programs for Drug-Abusing Women
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Abstract

What is known about drug treatment effectiveness is based primarily on studies involving men. Little is know about treatment effectiveness for women, particularly pregnant women. Available research and clinical evidence demonstrate that some types of drug treatment can have positive effects in such areas as drug use, employability, and criminal behavior. Drug treatment modalities include residential programs (both long-term therapy and short-term drug dependency hospitals and treatment centers) and outpatient programs, including intensive day programs. Barriers that prevent women from getting the treatment they need include lack of programs that admit women, and pregnant women in particular; lack of programs tailored to women's needs; and the fear and isolation experienced by most drug-abusing, pregnant women. New federal and state initiatives are targeting this underserved population. In addition, federally-funded, large-scale demonstration and evaluation projects employing diverse approaches are currently underway. Many experts believe that the most effective treatment approach is a comprehensive model program that includes specially trained staff; provision of physical, social, medical, educational, child care, and vocational services; and involvement of the family in therapy. The conclusion is that more programs tailored to women are needed. More research is also needed regarding treatment effectiveness, as well as the etiology of alcohol and drug abuse. To this end, the government must play a major role in funding longitudinal and multisite studies.

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