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J Am Med Womens Assoc (1972). 2002 Winter;57(1):36-7, 40.

Substance abuse and welfare reform.


The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 has forced welfare officials and substance abuse treatment providers to better understand the connections between substance abuse and welfare dependency. As a result, both are thinking differently about their policies and even their missions. Little is known about the true extent of substance abuse among welfare recipients, but estimates range from 2.7% to 22%. The current system of substance abuse treatment is poorly matched both to the needs of disadvantaged mothers and to the mandates of welfare reform. To help women achieve self-sufficiency, treatment programs must focus on the needs of women, address problems that often accompany substance abuse, attend to the needs of children, and emphasize work as an outcome of treatment. Welfare agencies must also change to meet their mandates; they must improve the tools and resources they offer staff, improve access and services for families, and align agency policies with new missions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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