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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2011 Sep;41(2):115-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2011.02.004. Epub 2011 Apr 5.

Long-term outcomes among drug-dependent mothers treated in women-only versus mixed-gender programs.

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UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, USA.


This study examined the long-term outcomes of women who were pregnant or parenting at admission to women-only (WO; n = 500) versus mixed-gender (MG; a matched sample of 500) substance abuse treatment programs. Administrative records on arrests, incarcerations, mental health services utilization, and drug treatment participation were collected, covering 3 years preadmission and 8 years postadmission. Women treated in WO programs had lower levels of arrest, mental health services utilization rates, and drug treatment participation during the first year after drug treatment. No differences were found between the two groups in the long-term trajectories except that the WO program participants had lower incarceration rates during the third year after treatment. The study findings suggest a positive short-term impact of WO versus MG programs with regard to arrest and mental health services utilization. Limited long-term gain is shown in the reductions in posttreatment incarceration. The study findings suggest the added value of specialized WO programs and begin to address the gap in knowledge regarding long-term outcomes for substance-abusing women.

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