Gender and Use of Substance Abuse Treatment Services

Green, Carla A.
March 2006
Alcohol Research & Health;2006, Vol. 29 Issue 1, p55
Academic Journal
Women are more likely than men to face multiple barriers to accessing substance abuse treatment and are less likely to seek treatment. Women also tend to seek care in mental health or primary care settings rather than in specialized treatment programs, which may contribute to poorer treatment outcomes. When gender differences in treatment outcomes are reported, however, women tend to fare better than men. Limited research suggests that gender-specific treatment is no more effective than mixed-gender treatment, though certain women may only seek treatment in women-only programs. Future health services research should consider or develop methods for (1) improving care for women who seek help in primary care or mental health settings, (2) increasing the referral of women to specialized addiction treatment, (3) identifying subgroups of women and men who would benefit from gender-specific interventions, and (4) addressing gender-specific risk factors for reduced treatment initiation, continuation, and treatment outcomes.


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