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Soc Work. 1995 Jan;40(1):45-54.

Gender differences in drug addiction and treatment: implications for social work intervention with substance-abusing women.

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  • 1Family Center, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA 19107.


This article draws on current addiction research to describe the unique characteristics and treatment needs of chemically dependent women and how they differ from those of chemically dependent men. It explores similarities between women who are drug addicted and all women who experience gender-based oppression. The authors suggest that drug use is a coping strategy that some women adopt to manage this oppression. Finally, the article looks at traditional drug treatment programs, which have been designed to treat male addicts and fail to address the treatment needs of women. The authors offer an alternative treatment model designed to meet those needs. Parallels between characteristics of this alternative treatment model and social work practice are drawn, and opportunities and strategies for social workers to intervene with female addicts are identified.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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