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Recovery Plus Women’s relapse rates are more likely to increase if they are in a relationship with a partner who abuses substances – but the same phenomenon does not occur in men. A comprehensive review in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse of the literature concluded that, although women with alcohol problems were less likely to enter treatment, once they began treatment they were just as likely as men to recover. But this review also concluded that programmes which provided perinatal care, childcare and other family services would better facilitate women to enter treatment8. Gender specific programs are generally no more effective than mixed-gender programmes for alcohol dependence. However, there is greater efficacy for subgroups of women with a history of trauma or abuse, or who have other psychiatric disorders9. Family and couples therapy is highly effective. Women have been found to consume mood and mind altering substances in response to family and relational conflict at higher rates then men10. In addition, their relapse rates are more likely to increase if they are in a relationship with a partner who abuses substances11. Conclusion. Gender differences between female and male substance-abuse patients are impacted by a host of biological, emotional, cultural and socioeconomic factors. Central to a patient’s success in recovery is their ability to establish a reparative psychotherapeutic relationship with his or her clinical team. Effective treatment demands that clinicians understand their patients’ unique needs and meet them with cultural and clinical sensitivity. References. 1. Greenfield SF, Grella CE. Alcohol & drug abuse: what is “women-focused” treatment for substance use disorders? Psychiatric Services 2009;60:880–2 2. US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Office of Applied Studies. Results from the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings (Department of Health and Human Services, 2008). 3. Hernandez-Avila CA, Rounsaville BJ, Kranzler HR. Opioid-, cannabis-, and alcohol-dependent women show more rapid progression to substance abuse treatment. Drug Alcohol Dependence. 2004;74(3):265–72. 4. Newman JL, Mello NK. Neuroactive gonadal steroid hormones and drug addiction in women. In: Brady KT, Back SE, Greenfield SF, editors. Women and addiction: a comprehensive handbook. Guilford Press; New York: 2009. pp. 35–64. 5. Seitz HK, Gerer GE, Simanowsk, UA, Waldherr RW, Eckey R, Agarwal DP, Goedde HW. Human gastric alcohol dehydrogenase activity: Effect of age, sex and alcoholism. (1993) Gut; 34, 1443-1437. 6. Conway KP, Compton W, Stinson FS, et al. Lifetime comorbidity of DSM-IV mood and anxiety disorders and specific drug use disorders: results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2006;67:247–57. 7. Goldstein RB. Comorbidity of substance use with independent mood and anxiety disorders in women: results from the National Epidemiologic your library’s essential reference Feb 2016 23 The online issue of Recovery Plus will also link you to the author’s presentation at Recovery Plus 2015 – just click the logo shown below when you access us online: Click for presentation Click


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