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Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2001 Apr-May;22(3):287-304.

Factors affecting substance abuse treatment completion for women.

Author information

  • 1Department of Family Nursing, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229-3200, USA. kellyp@uthscsa.edu


Substance abuse by women is considered an individual pathology, and the larger social processes of recovery are seldom explored. This research study examined social factors that influenced completion of an outpatient women-centered substance abuse treatment program. The treatment records of a group of 15 women who completed the program were compared with a group who did not complete the program. More completers had previous life successes in the areas of education, job skills, and employment history. Completers also had fewer children, less involvement with child protective services, and lower levels of chaos, a construct that included the presence of two of any of the following in women's lives: child protective services, homelessness, psychiatric diagnosis, or domestic violence. Completion of substance abuse treatment seems more likely for women with personal and social resources. If programs are to be successful, adequate funding must be provided for both assessment and support of the social problems encountered by the most vulnerable women.

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