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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2007 Mar 16;87(2-3):194-201. Epub 2006 Sep 22.

Women-only and mixed-gender drug abuse treatment programs: service needs, utilization and outcomes.

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Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90025, USA.



This prospective longitudinal study examined service needs, utilization and outcomes for 189 women in women-only (WO) programs and 871 women in mixed-gender (MG) programs.


The Addiction Severity Index was administered at both intake and the 9-month follow-up interview to assess clients' problem severity and outcomes, and the Treatment Service Review was given at the 3-month interview to measure service utilization. Treatment completion and arrests were based on official records.


Compared to women in MG programs, women in WO programs were more likely to be White, less educated, physically abused in the past 30 days and in residential treatment (as opposed to outpatient treatment). Women in WO programs also had greater problem severity in a number of domains including alcohol, drug, family, medical and psychiatric. They utilized more treatment services and had better drug and legal outcomes at follow-up compared to women in MG programs. Program type was not predictive of treatment retention/completion or outcomes in other domains (i.e., alcohol, employment, family, medical and psychiatric).


The greater problem severity of women treated in WO programs and their better drug and legal outcomes suggest that these specialized services are filling an important gap in addiction services.

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