From Generic to Gender-Responsive Treatment: Changes in Social Policies, Treatment Services, and Outcomes of Women in Substance Abuse Treatment

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1 From Generic to Gender-Responsive Treatment: Changes in Social Policies, Treatment Services, and Outcomes of Women in Substance Abuse Treatment Christine E. Grella, Ph.D.* Abstract In the past three decades, there has been increased recognition of the role of gender in influencing the course of substance use and treatment utilization. Concurrently, a substantial body of research on gender-related issues and substance abuse and its treatment has developed. This article reviews (1) policy initiatives that led to the growth of specialized treatment programs and services for women and recent policy changes that influence the provision of substance abuse treatment to women; (2) gender differences in the prevalence of substance use disorders and admissions to treatment; (3) gender differences in treatment needs, utilization, and outcomes, including long-term outcomes following treatment; (4) organizational characteristics of substance abuse treatment providers for women and the types of services provided in these programs; (5) treatment outcomes in gender-specific programs for women; and (6) the effectiveness of evidence-based treatment practices that have either been modified, or have the potential to be adapted, to address the treatment needs of women. This body of research is viewed within the context of a series of paradigm shifts from a generic treatment approach to a focus on gender differences and gender specificity and, most recently, to an emergent focus on gender responsiveness. Keywords evidence-based treatment, gender differences, gender responsive, treatment outcomes, treatment utilization The past three decades have witnessed tremendous changes within the field of substance abuse treatment stemming from changes in policies and associated funding initiatives. Further, the field has been challenged by policy- The author wishes to acknowledge the many colleagues working to improve substance abuse treatment for women and their collective influence on the ideas expressed in this article. She also wishes to thank Elizabeth Teshome and Kris Langabeer for assistance with preparation of this article. *Research Psychologist,UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, CA Please address correspondence and reprint requests to Christine E. Grella, Ph.D., UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, 1640 S. Sepulveda Blvd, Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA Phone (310) fax (310) , makers to improve the overall quality and effectiveness of treatment, such as through the dissemination of evidencebased treatment practices. Within this context, there has been increased recognition of the role of gender in influencing the course of substance use and treatment utilization, and the concurrent development of a substantial body of research on gender-related issues regarding substance abuse and its treatment. This article presents a review of policy and research related to gender and substance abuse treatment. Topics covered include: (1) policy initiatives that led to the growth of specialized treatment programs and services for women and recent policy changes that influence the provision of Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 327 SARC Supplement 5, November 2008

2 substance abuse treatment to women; (2) gender differences in the prevalence of substance use disorders and admissions to treatment; (3) gender differences in treatment needs, utilization, and outcomes, including long-term outcomes following treatment; (4) organizational characteristics of substance abuse treatment providers for women and the types of services provided in these programs; (5) treatment outcomes in gender-specific programs for women; and (6) the effectiveness of current evidence-based treatment practices for women. This body of research is situated within the context of a series of paradigm shifts from a generic treatment approach to a focus on gender differences and gender specificity and, most recently, to an emergent focus on gender responsiveness. POLICY INFLUENCES ON THE PROVISION OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT FOR WOMEN Considerable research has shown that the course of drug use initiation, the biological effects of these substances, and the progression to addiction differ for men and women (Lynch, Roth & Carroll 2002). Spurred by the recognition that there were fundamental gender differences in the patterns of drug use and addiction, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) launched the first demonstration program designed specifically to treat women with drug abuse problems in (Beschner, Reed & Mondanaro 1981; Reed & Leibson 1981). Research on the characteristics of participants in these programs established that the clinical profiles of women who were treated in these specialized treatment programs differed from those of women in traditional mixed-gender programs, as well as differing within gender by ethnicity (Moise et al. 1982). These early studies laid the foundation for developing innovative programming designed with knowledge of women s help-seeking patterns and common problem areas (Reed 1985: 41). In the 1980s, public attention focused increasingly on reports of cocaine/crack use among women, especially those who were pregnant or had young children, with much of the media coverage during this time featuring sensational depictions of drug-using mothers (Mahan 1996). The heightened concern about the public health and economic consequences of maternal substance abuse led to several social policy initiatives (Frohna, Lantz & Pollack 1999). In the most extreme cases, these responses have included efforts to criminalize drug use during pregnancy under existing child endangerment statutes, as occurred in South Carolina (Harris & Paltrow 2003). A recent review of state policies, however, has shown that no state legislature has adopted a law that creates unique criminal penalties for pregnant women who are addicted to or using alcohol or other drugs; instead, most have adopted policies that emphasize prevention, education, and access to treatment (Paltrow, Cohen & Carey 2000). One policy response has been to increase dedicated funding for treatment services designed specifically for women with substance abuse problems (Schmidt & Weisner 1995; Breitbart, Chavkin & Wise 1994). In 1984, the federal government amended block grant legislation to require that each state set aside 5% of its block grant allocation to provide new or expanded substance abuse treatment services for women. States were encouraged to spend set-aside funds to develop women-only treatment units, special ancillary services for women, and services for pregnant women. By 1988, amid vivid media depictions of the problems of drug-exposed infants and the broader focus on the national War on Drugs, Congress doubled the women s set-aside to 10% as part of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act (Chavkin et al. 1998). In 1995, the women s set-aside became a performance requirement that provides states with the flexibility to combine federal and non-federal funds for treatment services for pregnant women with dependent children, although there is no requirement to expand treatment capacity beyond the level that was in place at the time the requirement was enacted (Treatment Improvement Exchange 2008b). In 1990, the General Accounting Office (GAO 1990) called for an urgent national response to the thousands of drug-exposed infants born each year in the United States. Subsequently, Congress enacted legislation that funded demonstration grants for prenatal and infant care services through the Medicaid program. At around the same time, NIDA launched 20 demonstration projects aimed to improve treatment for pregnant and parenting women in its Perinatal-20 initiative (Rahdert 1996; Nunes-Dinis 1993). In 1992, NIDA also sponsored the National Pregnancy and Health Survey, which established a baseline of epidemiological data on the prevalence of alcohol and other drug use among pregnant women at the time of delivery (NIDA 1996). Amid this proliferation of new treatment initiatives for women, NIDA sponsored a conference on Drug Addiction Research and the Health of Women in 1994 which aimed to fill the gaps in the existing knowledge about drug abuse and women s health and to lay the framework for future research (Wetherington & Roman 1998). In addition, new treatment models for substance-using pregnant and postpartum women were developed, implemented, and evaluated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (Eisen et al. 2000) and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment s (CSAT) Residential Women and Children/Pregnant and Postpartum Women Demonstration Program (Clark 2001; CSAT 2001). Based in part on the experiences and findings from these demonstrations projects, in 1994 CSAT developed a comprehensive treatment model for alcohol and other drug-abusing women (CSAT 1994). In 2004, this model was revised to include an expanded focus on comprehensive treatment, not just for women, but also for their children and other family members (Werner et al. 2007). Since these initial policy initiatives, some policy analyses have demonstrated that use of the women s set-aside Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 328 SARC Supplement 5, November 2008

3 has been unevenly implemented across states (GAO 1991), and may even be declining in priority as other treatment needs or populations take precedence (Chavkin, Wise & Elman 1998; Chavkin & Breitbart 1997). One policy analysis suggested that the focus on women s treatment as a priority for funding tends to wane when more control over the distribution of funding is assumed at the state or local levels, compared with national initiatives (Drug Strategies 1998). Others have noted that policies prioritizing treatment for pregnant and parenting women may limit the availability of treatment for women who are not pregnant and/or do not have custody of minor children (Ostermann 1995). A recent review of state substance abuse standards and policies for women conducted by a collaboration between CSAT and the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) confirmed that there is substantial variability in treatment standards for women and pregnant women across the states (Children and Family Futures 2007). Review of state documents as well as a brief questionnaire completed by state administrators indicated that over half of the states and District of Columbia (n = 28; 55%) have some kind of standards for women and/or pregnant women beyond the block grant requirements. Variability exists in how these standards are implemented, particularly in areas such as: licensing/certification standards; administrative rules, regulations, and statues; contractual requirements; treatment guidelines; and funding applications. Moreover, the review found a lack of uniformity in how the states define key constructs, including gender-specific treatment, and in the level of specificity regarding expected treatment services for women. Policy changes enacted in other service delivery systems in the past 20 to 25 years have also influenced the provision of substance abuse treatment to women. In particular, there has been an influx of women with substance abuse problems into prisons due to changes in sentencing and criminal justice policies that have increased incarceration rates for drug users. Since 1995 the total number of female prisoners in the U.S. has grown by 53%, as compared to an increase of 32% for males (Harrison & Beck 2005). Much of this increase can be accounted for by changes in sentencing for drug-related crimes, which have disproportionately affected women, particularly women of color (Freudenberg 2002). Drug offenses now account for nearly one-third of incarcerated women (up from about 10% in 1979), compared with just one-fifth of men (Frost, Greene & Pranis 2006). Although historically the criminal justice system has been a main conduit into substance abuse treatment for men, both correctional and community treatment settings are increasingly relevant to women with substance abuse problems who enter into this system. In addition, greater awareness of the association between parental substance abuse and child maltreatment has fostered increased levels of interaction between the child welfare and treatment systems. In 1997, the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) was passed to promote more timely permanent placements for children in the child welfare system and to ensure the safety of children, stability and permanency of their home and their overall well-being (Green, Rockhill & Furrer 2006). Among other changes, ASFA created adoption incentive bonuses to states; reauthorized the Family Preservation and Family Support program (renaming it the Promoting Safe and Stable Families program); established timetables for placement determinations for children in the foster care system; and continued the child welfare demonstration waivers (i.e., grants of flexibility) (Treatment Improvement Exchange 2008a). In 2006, the Child and Family Services Improvement Act was passed, which reauthorized the Promoting Safe and Stable Families program through 2011 and included funding specifically to increase the well being of and improve permanency outcomes for children affected by methamphetamine or other substance abuse (Treatment Improvement Exchange 2008a). At the state level, CSAT and NASADAD have collaborated on a policy guide for collaboration between state administrators of alcohol and other drug abuse programs and child welfare (Nardini 2004). At the programmatic level, substance abuse treatment providers and child welfare agencies are increasingly called upon to collaborate in providing services, particularly related to parenting skills, and parental substance abuse treatment participation may be made a consideration in determinations regarding family reunification (Kerwin 2005). At the judicial level, the development of dependency drug courts (or family drug courts), in which participation in treatment is mandated and supervised by a separate court or judge, has strengthened linkages between child welfare and substance abuse treatment systems (Young, Boles & Otero 2007). In sum, major policy changes occurring at state and federal levels, across several service delivery systems, have influenced the provision of substance abuse treatment for women in the past several decades. GENDER DIFFERENCES IN PREVALENCE OF SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS AND ADMISSIONS TO TREATMENT Data from national prevalence surveys show that a greater proportion of men in the general population have a history of alcohol use disorders (either abuse or dependence); however, the gender difference is less pronounced with regard to other drug use disorders (Kandal 2000). For example, in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), males are 3.1 times more likely than females to have a lifetime alcohol use disorder, 2.3 times more likely to abuse alcohol, and 2.6 times more likely to be alcohol dependent (Hasin et al. 2007). The differentials are smaller with regard to past-year drug use disorders; males are 2.3 times more likely than females to have a lifetime drug use disorder, 2.2 times more Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 329 SARC Supplement 5, November 2008

4 likely to abuse drugs, and 1.9 times more likely to be drug dependent (Compton et al. 2007). The gap between males and females is smallest with regard to the prevalence of past-year amphetamine-use disorders; males are about 1.6 times more likely than females to manifest this disorder. In addition, women are more likely than men to engage in nonmedical use of prescription drugs, particularly narcotic analgesics and tranquilizers; women are twice as likely as men to report past-year abuse of these substances (Simoni- Wastila & Strickler 2004). Data on admissions to the national treatment system are reported into the Treatment Episodes Data System (TEDS) and provide valuable information on the extent to which women participate in the treatment system and differences in the characteristics of men and women who enter treatment. These data show that the overall proportion of men to women within the treatment system has remained fairly constant over the past ten years ( ) at two to one, with women making up approximately one-third of all treatment admissions (OAS 2006b). Nationally, the type of primary substance reported by individuals upon their admission to treatment closely mirrors the pattern found within the general population. A greater proportion of males than females report alcohol (44% vs. 33%) or marijuana (17% vs. 13%) as their primary substance of abuse, whereas higher proportions of females report cocaine or crack (17% vs. 12%), amphetamines (12% vs. 6%), or heroin/other opioids (20% vs. 17%) as their primary substance (OAS 2006b). In addition to these differences in type of substance use, men and women differ in their pathways to treatment, as seen in the sources of their referral into treatment. Nationally, a much higher proportion of men than women are referred into treatment through the criminal justice system (40% vs. 28%), whereas over twice as many women as men access treatment by referral from other community agencies (e.g., welfare, child welfare; 15% vs. 6%; OAS 2006b). Other studies have shown that women are more likely than men to enter treatment via the mental health and child welfare systems, whereas men are more likely to enter treatment through the criminal justice system (Schmidt & Weisner 1995). Similarly, there are differences between men and women in their sources of payment for treatment, with a greater proportion of men reporting self-pay (26% vs. 18%) and a relatively greater proportion of women being dependent upon public insurance to pay for treatment (26% vs. 12%; OAS 2006b). These differences in source of referral and method of payment suggest that the pathways to substance abuse treatment for men and women are strongly differentiated based on their economic and employment status, which may serve as barriers or facilitators of treatment utilization. Moreover, the greater reliance of women on public insurance to pay for treatment suggests that their ability to access treatment may be vulnerable to changes in eligibility for or reductions in public insurance. GENDER DIFFERENCES IN TREATMENT UTILIZATION, NEEDS, AND OUTCOMES Besides the differential pathways into treatment, there are also gender differences in the processes related to treatment initiation, including the social influences that support or inhibit treatment entry (Weisner & Schmidt 1992; Anglin, Hser & Booth 1987). Clinical studies of individuals in treatment provide more in-depth information on the factors that facilitate treatment participation for men and women. Using data from the national Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Studies, Grella and Joshi (1999) examined the factors associated with having a history of substance abuse treatment among individuals who were sampled from residential, outpatient, hospital inpatient, and methadone maintenance programs. More severe drug use history (e.g., earlier initiation and greater number of substances used) and greater involvement in criminal behavior were related to prior treatment history for both men and women. Yet there was a divergence between men and women in the other characteristics that were related to a history of treatment participation. Prior drug treatment among men was associated with higher levels of family opposition to their drug use and more familial support for their treatment participation. Treatment history among men was also associated with having been referred to treatment by their family, an employer, or the criminal justice system. In contrast, treatment history for women was associated with having been referred by a social worker, having a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder, having engaged in sex work, and having self-initiated into treatment. Hence, women s treatment participation may be triggered by other indicators of deviance (such as antisocial personality disorder, sex work) or by their involvement with other service systems (such as welfare or child welfare), rather than solely due to their substance abuse. Research from clinical studies on the characteristics of individuals upon their admission to substance abuse treatment has consistently shown that women tend to enter treatment after fewer years of substance use, but that they present to treatment with more severe clinical profiles compared with men. In particular, women tend to report greater psychological distress and mental health problems, particularly mood and anxiety disorders; more interpersonal conflicts with family and family-related needs, particularly issues related to parenting; greater exposure to childhood and adult trauma and victimization and associated problems; and more problems related to lack of employment and vocational skills (McKay et al. 2003; Stewart et al. 2003; Chatham et al. 1999; Wechsberg, Craddock & Hubbard 1998; Brady et al. 1993). Moreover, women are more likely to be adversely affected by their spouse or partner s substance use, including a greater likelihood of victimization, injury, mood and anxiety disorders, physical health problems, and overall poorer quality of life (Dawson et al. 2007). Thus, relationship issues, and the role of substance Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 330 SARC Supplement 5, November 2008

5 use within the relationship dynamic, are central issues for women s treatment and recovery. Treatment processes and outcomes appear to be influenced by gender in complex ways (Green 2006). Among patients treated in an HMO setting, Green and colleagues (2002) found that although time in treatment and rates of treatment completion did not differ by gender, different participant characteristics were related to treatment retention and completion for males and females. An extensive review of the literature by Greenfield and colleagues (2007a) found that gender itself is not a significant predictor of treatment retention, completion, or outcomes, but different factors may predict outcomes for men and women. The authors concluded that psychological distress and psychiatric symptoms, socioeconomic status (such as higher income, employment, and educational attainment), social support, and personal and social stability are all associated with treatment retention and substance use outcomes, although relationships vary by gender. Similarly, in an experimental study of participants in therapeutic community programs, Messina, Wish, and Nemes (2000) found that for both men and women treatment completion was the strongest predictor of improved drug use, employment, and criminal justice outcomes, although women particularly benefited from longer time in treatment. Access to services also appears to differentially influence outcomes for men and women. In a multisite national study that examined the relationship of services received to outcomes, the receipt of educational, housing, and income support services was related to reduced post-treatment substance abuse for both women and men; however, receipt of mental health services was more closely related to reductions in post-treatment substance use for women than for men (Marsh, Cao & D Aunno 2004). Studies have shown few gender differences in rates of post-treatment relapse to alcohol use, although the evidence is mixed in regard to relapse to other drug use. There are gender differences, however, in the situations or conditions that are associated with relapse to substance use. For males, these include living alone, positive affect, and social pressures, whereas for females, relapse has been associated with not living with one s children, being depressed, having a stressful marriage, and being pressured to use by their sexual partners (Walitzer & Dearing 2006; Zywiak et al. 2006; Rubin, Stout & Longabaugh 1996; Saunders et al. 1993). In addition, some research has shown that women tend to engage more than men in self-help participation following treatment (Humphreys, Mavis & Stofflemayr 1991) and in successive treatment episodes (Hser et al. 2004), both of which may influence the course of recovery following treatment. It is also important to note that women with substance use disorders are not homogeneous and that there are significant differences within gender by age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, culture and religious orientation, and parental status. In one study of women opiate users who were seeking methadone treatment, four clusters were identified that were characterized by different areas of problem severity: unemployment, medical illness, psychiatric distress, and higher social functioning (McMahon & Luthar 2000). African-American women were overrepresented in the group defined primarily by poor vocational education history, whereas White women were overrepresented in the group that had high psychiatric distress as well as in the higherfunctioning group. Other studies have shown that White women in prison-based treatment report the highest needs for family- and psychological-related services, whereas African-American women express higher needs for healthrelated services compared to White and Hispanic women (Grella & Greenwell 2007). Although this review focuses on gender as the central construct for understanding the course of substance use and treatment participation, effective interventions are needed that address the specific service needs and available resources of subgroups of women. In particular, interventions need to address health disparities among women associated with environmental risks and available resources. Previous studies have shown that experiences of socioeconomic disadvantage, exposure to community violence, criminal justice system interactions, and access to resources among women vary by ethnicity and influence their perceptions of treatment needs and coping behaviors, which, in turn, may influence treatment outcomes and the course of recovery (Amaro et al. 2007, 2005). GENDER DIFFERENCES IN LONGITUDINAL TREATMENT OUTCOMES A growing body of work is examining gender differences in longitudinal outcomes following treatment participation, thereby extending the interval for post-treatment outcomes beyond the typical six to 12 months. This approach is consistent with the prevailing conceptualization of addiction as a chronic, relapsing disorder that necessitates a continuing care approach to treatment and recovery (McLellan 2002; McLellan et al. 2000). Moreover, given the gender differences in clinical profiles and treatment needs at admission to treatment, as noted previously, long-term substance use outcomes may be predicted by different factors for men and women. One study identified a set of risk and protective factors that were associated with longitudinal outcomes of women who received outpatient and residential treatment; these included social support, daily stressors, life satisfaction, partner abuse, substance abuse by self and significant others, psychiatric history, chronic medical conditions, childbirth history, childcare responsibilities, and treatment engagement (Comfort et al. 2003; Comfort & Kaltenbach 2000). In a longitudinal study of a Chicago-based treatment sample, men and women did not differ in the prevalence of substance use reported at a 24-month follow-up, but Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 331 SARC Supplement 5, November 2008

6 there was more persistent use of alcohol and marijuana among men and use of cocaine among women (Grella et al. 2003). Moreover, women were more likely to return to treatment over time, whereas men were more likely to become incarcerated. For women, living with a substance user following treatment predicted a greater likelihood of their own substance use at 24 months, but this relationship was not significant among men. At a 36-month assessment conducted with this same study cohort, there were no differences between men and women in the proportion who reported any alcohol or other drug use; however, there were persistent gender differences in several areas of psychosocial functioning, including greater psychological distress among women and greater criminal justice involvement among men (Grella, Scott & Foss 2005). Women continued to have lower rates of employment and to report more interpersonal problems than men, but they had greater increases in self-help participation. The most recent study of this cohort examined transitions across various recovery statuses (e.g., abstinent, using, in treatment) for up to six years. In multivariate models controlling for other characteristics, women were one-third less likely than men to transition from recovery to using over this time over follow-up intervals conducted annually. Moreover, self-help participation was a stronger predictor of transitioning from using to recovery (or, conversely, of remaining in recovery) for women (Grella et al. 2008). In contrast, having an external mandate was a much more powerful factor influencing treatment reentry among men; there was a 12- fold greater likelihood of moving from using to treatment for men who were mandated to treatment compared with women. Another transition-based analysis, conducted with a sample of individuals who received treatment for cocaine use over a six-month period, showed that men were twice as likely to transition across statuses (either from using to abstinent or vice versa) as women, controlling for level of treatment received over the interval (Gallop et al. 2007). Similar findings have been obtained in a longitudinal study of individuals who sought help for alcohol problems. This study found that women were more likely than men to participate in self-help groups and to have greater reductions in drinking associated with their self-help participation over an eight-year follow-up period (Timko, Finney & Moos 2005; Timko et al. 2002). More recently, these findings have endured over a 16-year follow-up period (Moos, Moos & Timko 2006). Another longitudinal follow-up study compared outcomes following treatment among older adults (aged 55 and over) sampled from a managed care provider. At the five-year follow-up point, women had higher rates of abstinence compared with men, and older women had better outcomes compared with younger women (Satre et al. 2004). At the seven-year follow-up point, older women were about twice as likely as older men to be abstinent; however, duration in the index treatment episode was the strongest predictor of outcomes for both (Satre et al. 2007). Findings from these longitudinal studies suggest that the dynamics of recovery differ for men and women following their treatment participation. Taken together, these studies suggest that gender may moderate the course of recovery through differential interactions with treatment, criminal justice, and self-help groups. Women appear to sustain better outcomes over time, related to longer initial treatment participation and ongoing self-help participation. The growing emphasis on continuing care interventions for substance use disorders can build upon these findings regarding the role of gender over the course of treatment and recovery in order to develop more tailored interventions for both men and women. ORGANIZATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PROVIDERS FOR WOMEN AND SERVICES PROVIDED In 1987, Beth Glover Reed asked a seemingly simple question in an article entitled: Developing women-sensitive drug dependence treatment services: Why so difficult? (Reed 1987). Reed challenged the prevailing lack of attention to the specific treatment needs of women, which characterized the treatment system that was available at that time. With this recognition that there were important differences between men and women in their trajectories of addiction, including in their initiation of use, progression to dependence, and the social influences that facilitate or impede treatment participation, separate women-only programs were developed as well as dedicated treatment tracks or services for women within mixed-gender programs. Data collected from an annual national survey of treatment providers, the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), show that in 2005, 41% (N = 4,747) of all treatment programs (among those that accepted women as clients) provided either a special treatment program or services specifically for women (OAS 2006a). Among these programs, 41% provided domestic violence services, 17% provided services for pregnant or postpartum women, 18% provided childcare, and 9% provided residential beds for clients children. Moreover, a greater proportion of programs that provided womenspecific services, compared with those that did not, also provided other comprehensive services typically needed by women; these included housing assistance (65% vs. 46%), employment counseling (47% vs. 26%), and assistance with social services (66% vs. 47%). Facilities providing a special program or service for women were more likely than other programs to be operated by private nonprofit organizations (61% vs. 53%) and less likely to be operated by private for-profit groups (24% vs. 32%). The proliferation of gender-specific programs in the past two decades has enabled the development of a rich body of research on the organizational characteristics of these treatment programs and the types of treatment services Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 332 SARC Supplement 5, November 2008

7 provided within them. An early study conducted in the 1980s of 53 alcohol treatment facilities in California showed that facilities in which there were higher proportions of women clients provided more services overall, and in particular more services for children, childcare, and aftercare services (Beckman & Kocel 1982). Subsequent studies have shown that treatment facilities that provide services to women only, or in which there is a higher concentration of women, typically provide a wider range of services designed to meet women s specific treatment needs (Uziel-Miller & Lyons 2000; Grella et al. 1999). In addition to providing a broader range of services, traditional treatment models, such as the therapeutic community, have been modified to incorporate empowerment and supportive approaches to treatment, rather than confrontational approaches (Sacks et al. 2004; Brown et al. 1996; Stevens & Arbiter 1995). Empowerment approaches focus on identifying and building upon a woman s strengths, such as her nurturing and relational capacities, rather than focusing solely on her deficits (Finkelstein 1993). Such approaches are particularly important given the generally higher levels of psychological distress, trauma exposure, and co-occurring mood and anxiety disorders that characterize women who enter into substance abuse treatment and the need to enhance their sense of competency and self-efficacy. Hence, women often require longer and more intensive treatment processes (Brown et al. 2002, 2000), particularly pregnant and parenting women who present to treatment with multiple and complex needs (Kissin et al. 2001; Howell & Chasnoff 1999; Luthar & Walsh 1995; Haller et al. 1993). Surveys of treatment programs that receive a majority of their funding from private (i.e. nongovernmental) sources have shown similar findings regarding organizational characteristics to those in surveys of publicly-funded providers. Private-sector programs with a majority female caseload were more likely than those in which women were a minority to provide child care, to have more family involvement in treatment, to provide treatment for psychiatric disorders, to employ counselors with master s level degrees, to receive more referrals from mental health sources and fewer workplace referrals, and to accept payment through public insurance (Tinney et al. 2004). Another survey of outpatient substance abuse treatment programs examined the organizational factors related to the provision of women s health services, such as gynecological exams, reproductive services, and prenatal services. Programs providing these services were more likely to receive funding earmarked for women s treatment, to be methadone providers, to have a greater proportion of staff who were specifically trained in women s treatment issues, and to be private not-for-profit units and public units, rather than for-profit (Campbell & Alexander 2005). Despite the greater availability of services that directly address women s treatment needs in women-only programs, there remain gaps in the provision of needed services to women. As seen in one study of women who were referred into a women-specific program by the child welfare system, fewer than half of the women who indicated they had specific treatment needs for child care, family counseling, job training, housing assistance, and benefits assistance actually received these services while in treatment (Smith & Marsh 2002). In a study using N-SSATS data, the proportion of programs that provided services typically associated with women s treatment needs (i.e., child care, domestic violence counseling, family counseling, prenatal and postnatal care) gradually increased from 1987 to 1998; programs that served women exclusively, or that had a majority of women clients, were more likely to provide these services than programs in which women were the minority of clients (Grella & Greenwell 2004). The largest proportion of women-specific facilities were among residential/therapeutic community programs (approximately 20%); hence women also constituted a greater proportion of clients treated within residential programs (approximately 35%) compared with their representation in other modalities. Therefore, since most individuals received outpatient rather than residential treatment, the vast majority of women received treatment in mixed-gender outpatient programs, which had the lowest rates of providing women-specific services. Another study using N-SSATS data from 2000 showed that programs that provided special services for women (e.g., a women-specific program, group, or treatment track) were more likely to provide other services that address women s treatment needs (e.g., child care, transportation assistance, housing assistance, domestic violence counseling, employment counseling), and that units that were primarily publicly financed or not-for-profit were more likely to provide these services than those that were for-profit (Olmstead & Sindelar 2004). Moreover, a recent panel study compared the provision of services relevant to women s treatment needs (e.g., prenatal care, child care, single-sex therapy, same-sex therapists, staff trained in women s treatment) in outpatient treatment programs in 1995 and 2005 (Campbell et al. 2007). The study found that there were significant declines over this period in the provision of single-sex therapy and the percentage of staff trained to work with women in outpatient programs. Furthermore, private for-profit treatment units became more prevalent over the study period, and these programs were less likely than others to provide the range of services defined by women s treatment needs. There were also significant declines in the provision of same-gender group therapy in methadone programs from 1995 to 2000, as well as declines in same-gender individual and group therapy in nonmethadone outpatient programs from 1995 to However, despite these decreases, samegender group therapy was more prevalent among methadone than drug-free (nonmethadone) outpatient programs (Alexander et al. 2008). Hence, services targeted to women s needs have become more prevalent within the treatment Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 333 SARC Supplement 5, November 2008

8 system over the past 25 years, largely due to increases in funding for these services and the development of womenspecific programs. Yet the provision of services dedicated to women is neither universal nor comprehensive throughout the broader treatment system, and, as noted previously, these funding streams are vulnerable to cuts depending on changes in funding priorities. TREATMENT OUTCOMES IN GENDER-SPECIFIC PROGRAMS FOR WOMEN Several early studies, predating the expansion of genderspecific programming, examined the outcomes of women who received treatment in women-only versus mixed-gender programs. An experimental study conducted in Sweden with women who were in the early stages of alcohol dependence demonstrated reduced alcohol use and better social adjustment for women treated in women-only programs compared to those in mixed-gender programs (Dahlgren & Willander 1989). The authors surmised that women may be more likely to enter into women-only programs at an earlier stage of their addiction careers. In contrast, in a nonexperimental study conducted in Australia with women who had more severe alcohol and drug disorders, there were no outcome differences in drug use, severity of depression, self-esteem, or social support network between women in women-only and mixed-gender programs (Copeland et al. 1993). However, lesbian women, women with a history of childhood sexual assault, and women with dependent children were less likely to drop out of the women-only program (Copeland & Hall 1992a). In the ensuing years, capitalizing on data from the various demonstration projects that enabled the expansion of services dedicated to women, a growing body of research has accumulated regarding the outcomes of women and their children who are treated in gender-specific programs (Burgdorf et al. 2004a; Porowski, Burgdorf & Herrell 2004; McMurtrie et al. 1999). Several studies have shown that women who are treated in programs that provide genderspecific services are retained longer in treatment and have better outcomes, as compared to women in traditional mixed-gender programs or programs that do not provide gender-specific treatment services. Brady and Ashley (2005) showed that women in women-only residential programs stayed in treatment an average of 83 days, compared to 22 days for those in mixed-gender programs. Similarly, using data from three national treatment outcome studies, Greenfield and colleagues (2004) found that women were retained longer in gender-specific residential programs. Several studies show that there are differences in the characteristics of women who receive treatment in genderspecific and mixed-gender programs as well as in their treatment outcomes. In an early study, women treated in women-only residential programs were more likely to have been sexually abused as children, to be lesbians, and to have dependent children, compared to women in mixed-gender residential programs (Copeland & Hall 1992b). In another study, women who were treated in women-only residential programs had more severe problems before treatment entry but were twice as likely to complete treatment as women in mixed-gender treatment programs (Grella 1999). A study that used national data from DATOS found that pregnant and parenting women who were treated in residential programs in which there were higher proportions of other such women had longer stays in treatment and that longer stays, in turn, were positively associated with post-treatment abstinence (Grella, Joshi & Hser 2000). These programs also provided more comprehensive services, including those that addressed family, parenting, and mental health needs. A recent study conducted in California compared women treated in womenonly and mixed-gender programs, including both residential and outpatient programs. Women in women-only programs had greater problem severity in a number of domains including alcohol, other drug, family, medical, and psychiatric (Niv & Hser 2007). Moreover, they utilized more treatment services and had better drug and legal outcomes at follow-up compared to women in mixed-gender programs. Taken together, this body of research has demonstrated that women have higher rates of treatment completion and better outcomes: (1) in residential treatment programs that have live-in accommodations for children (Stevens & Patton 1998; Wobie et al. 1997; Szuster et al. 1996; Hughes et al. 1995); (2) in outpatient treatment that includes the provision of family therapy (Zlotnick et al. 1996), individual counseling (Volpicelli et al. 2000), and family services (Wingfield & Klempner 2000); and (3) when treatment includes comprehensive supportive services, such as case management, pregnancy-related services, parenting training/ classes, childcare, vocational training, and aftercare (Howell, Heiser & Harrington 1999; Weisdorf et al. 1999; Camp & Finkelstein 1997; Lanehart et al. 1996; Strantz & Welch 1995). In addition, women in substance abuse treatment who receive more health and social services report better outcomes and greater satisfaction with treatment (Sanders, Trinh & Sherman 1998), particularly when services are matched with their needs (Smith & Marsh 2002). In another study, providing women with transportation, outreach, and enhanced treatment services was associated with receipt of a greater number of services overall, which in turn was related to lower post-treatment drug use (Marsh, D Aunno & Smith 2000). Claus and colleagues (2007) showed that women who were treated in specialized residential treatment programs for women in Washington state were more likely than those in standard, mixed-gender programs to participate in continuing care following their discharge. The proliferation of research on women-specific treatment has allowed for several reviews that examine the common elements associated with improved outcomes for women in substance abuse treatment. A meta-analysis of 34 treatment outcome studies showed that women who received Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 334 SARC Supplement 5, November 2008

9 substance abuse treatment in women-only programs, compared to those treated in mixed-gender programs, had better drug use outcomes following treatment (Orwin, Francisco & Bernichon 2001). Similarly, women who were treated in women-only programs that had enhanced programming (i.e., more intensive or specialized services) compared with those in standard women-only programs, had better outcomes in several areas, including psychological well-being, attitudes and beliefs, and HIV risk reduction. Although overall effect sizes for these differences were modest, the largest effects were found in the area of psychiatric outcomes, with smaller effects for reductions in alcohol use, other drug use, and criminal activity. In a systematic review of program factors related to successful treatment outcomes among women in 35 studies, five factors were identified: (1) single- versus mixed-gender programs; (2) treatment intensity; (3) provision of child care; (4) case management; and (5) supportive staff and the provision of individual counseling (Sun 2006). Similarly, a systematic review of 38 studies of substance abuse treatment for women (most of which had nonexperimental designs) identified six elements that were associated with better outcomes regarding treatment completion, length of stay, decreased use of substances, reduced mental health symptoms, improved birth outcomes, employment, selfreported health status, and HIV risk reduction (Ashley, Marsden & Brady 2003). These elements were: (1) child care, (2) prenatal care, (3) women-only program composition, (4) supplemental services and workshops that address women-focused topics, (5) mental health services, and (6) comprehensive programming. These comprehensive reviews also identified several methodological shortcomings to the extant body of research on women s treatment programs. These included a limited range of treatment outcomes examined, lack of experimental studies with randomized assignment to conditions, lack of standardized measures, lack of consistent definitions for treatment factors and outcomes, small sample sizes, lack of thorough program description, lack of thorough statistical analyses, small effect sizes for observed outcomes, and limited follow-up periods. These limitations in methodological rigor clearly limit the conclusions that can be drawn from the extant literature on women s treatment outcomes in relation to organizational characteristics and treatment services provided. In addition to these methodological considerations, several exceptions to the findings regarding superior outcomes for women treated in gender-specific programs should be noted. Kaskutas and colleagues (2005) found no beneficial effects of women-specific treatment in an experimental study that randomly assigned participants to women-only versus mixed-gender day treatment programs. Bride (2001) compared the rates of treatment completion and retention among participants in several mixed-gender programs before and after the programs changed their structure to single-gender. There were no differences in the rates of retention and completion among either males or females who were treated in mixed- versus single-gender programs. The author of this study surmised that merely changing the client composition of the programs may not have substantially changed the type of treatment provided or treatment processes in order to fully address women s treatment needs. Similarly, some have argued that traditional therapeutic community (TC) programs, even if gender-specific, may be clinically inappropriate if their emphasis on confrontation is not modified to accommodate the greater likelihood of trauma and abuse history among women, particularly among women in the criminal justice system where TC programs have been widely adopted (Eliason 2006). Further, it is assumed that the therapeutic dynamics within women-specific programs differ from those in mixed-gender programs (Hodgins, el- Guebaly & Addington 1997), yet many studies examine only time in treatment or types of services received rather than the therapeutic aspects or key components of women-specific treatment that may be related to outcomes. An important consideration with regard to the adoption of gender-specific services is the generally higher cost of these services, due to the longer duration of treatment and inclusion of services that increase costs, such as medical services, services for children, mental health services, housing, etc. (Burgdorf et al. 2004b). Yet several studies have shown that despite the generally higher costs of gender-specific treatment for women, these costs are offset by the improved outcomes they yield. Cost-benefit analyses have shown favorable results in residential versus outpatient treatment for women (Daley et al. 2000); in specialized versus standard residential programs for women (French et al. 2002); and in a multidisciplinary, comprehensive treatment program for pregnant women versus standard care (Svikis et al. 1997a). Moreover, a cost-outcome study of SAMHSA s multisite Women, Co-Occurring Disorders and Violence Study showed that there was no added cost for trauma-integrated treatment over standard treatment (Domino et al. 2005). EVIDENCE-BASED TREATMENT APPROACHES FOR WOMEN SUBSTANCE ABUSERS In 1998, the Institute of Medicine released an influential report entitled Bridging the Gap Between Practice and Research (Lamb, Greenlick & McCarty 1998), which called for improving the effectiveness of substance abuse treatment by increasing the collaboration between researchers and community providers. This report ushered in a greater emphasis on incorporating treatment approaches that have received empirical support from clinical research on treatment effectiveness as well as scientifically guided approaches to dissemination of these approaches (Miller et al. 2006). Several treatment approaches have emerged as the primary evidence-based treatment practices within the field of addiction treatment and have been codified within Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 335 SARC Supplement 5, November 2008

10 NIDA s Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment (1999). These include both pharmacological and behavioral treatment approaches. Pharmacotherapeutic approaches, mostly opiate replacement therapies, have addressed the differential use of medications in the treatment of pregnant women (Johnson et al. 2001; Fischer et al. 2000; Kaltenbach, Berghella & Finnegan 1998). Clinical management strategies have been developed that address assessment, induction, stabilization, and dosing schedules during the differential phases of pregnancy and aftercare (Jones et al. 2008). There is some evidence suggesting gender differences in dose-response to medications used to treat substance abuse (Pettinati et al. 2008; Pettinati, Dundon & Lipkin 2004), with poorer outcomes regarding side effects, retention, and abstinence observed among women than men. Other studies have identified gender differences in response to different dosing schedules (Marsch et al. 2005), yet there is still limited research into gender differences in response to pharmacological treatments for substance abuse. Behavioral treatment approaches that have amassed empirical support include: cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational enhancement interventions, and contingency management. Yet most behavioral therapies have been developed generically and they have not been examined to see how they can be specifically tailored to women s treatment. Several of the predominant evidence-based treatment approaches that have been endorsed within the field have the potential to be adapted to address the specific treatment needs of women. These are briefly discussed below. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy/Relapse Prevention Cognitive behavioral therapies use structured protocols for teaching skills for relapse prevention. These approaches focus on teaching clients how to recognize cues or triggers for substance use and to use strategies for avoiding relapse in those situations. As noted previously, research has shown that different factors are associated with relapse to substance use following treatment for men and women, particularly related to social situations and relationships. A recent behavioral therapy trial conducted by Greenfield and colleagues (2007b) aims to parcel out the effects of a women-specific group therapy that uses cognitive behavioral techniques. The trial compares the outcomes of women who engage in an all-women s group that focuses on psychoeducation on the specific antecedents and consequences of alcohol and other drug use among women as compared to women who receive standard group counseling. Results from a pilot study showed promising outcomes, but at present it is unclear if the group dynamics (such as the level of comfort and support and nature of interaction in the all-women s group) versus the content of discussion regarding women s specific cues and triggers, or both processes, underlie the superior outcomes. Similarly, another recent pilot study testing a women-specific group counseling intervention using a workbook-based psychoeducation approach has shown promising results regarding retention and satisfaction, but has not yet been tested in an experimental trial (Najavits et al. 2007b). Motivational Enhancement Interventions Motivational enhancement interventions use therapeutic strategies to increase the individual s awareness of their substance abuse problems and to engage their commitment to behavior change. These approaches can build upon the issues that are central to motivating women to address their substance abuse problems, particularly related to their identity, self-esteem, health, and relationships with children, other family members, and friends. Motivational interventions can also build upon the specific coping styles used by women, which may be more emotionally focused than those of men (Cook, Epperson & Gariti 2005) as well as reliant upon religious or spiritual coping (Fallot & Heckman 2005). Few studies have actually looked at gender differences in the effectiveness of motivational approaches (Vasilaki, Hosier & Cox 2006). In most instances where motivational interventions have been developed specifically for women they have aimed to increased motivation for treatment among pregnant substance-abusing women, particularly since many pregnant women decline to enter into treatment because they fear negative consequences, most especially loss of custody of their children (Haller, Miles & Dawson 2003; Jessup et al. 2003). Moreover, pregnancy may be a window of opportunity during which women are potentially more receptive to motivational interventions that can be delivered within prenatal care visits (Jessup & Brindis 2005; DiClemente, Dolan-Millun & Windsor 2000). In one example, a brief motivational intervention was used to address alcohol use among pregnant women in primary health care settings; information on the health effects of alcohol use during pregnancy was provided, with the aim of motivating women based on their desire to protect the health of their child (Handmaker, Miller & Manicke 1999). Participants who had the highest blood alcohol levels during early pregnancy had greater reductions at a two-month follow-up if they received the motivational interview, compared with participants who received an informational pamphlet. Similarly, in another experimental study, pregnant women with the highest levels of consumption had significantly greater reductions in alcohol use after a single-session brief intervention compared with a usual care group; furthermore, the effect was enhanced when the woman s partner participated in the session (Chang et al. 2005). Contingency Management Contingency management approaches employ a schedule of rewards to strengthen the practice of desired behaviors (e.g., abstinence). These rewards may be small gifts, cash, or vouchers, which can be accumulated based on the duration of abstinence attained, as well as reversed upon Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 336 SARC Supplement 5, November 2008

11 FIGURE 1 Evolving Treatment Approaches a relapse. These approaches have been successfully used in smoking reduction programs for pregnant women who are in treatment for drug abuse (Donatelle et al. 2004) and to increase attendance among pregnant women in methadone maintenance treatment (Jones et al. 2001, 2000; Svikis et al. 1997b). One creative approach to applying contingency management to reduce smoking among women in substance abuse treatment utilized a community outreach program that solicited donations of personal hygiene or household items from local merchants and businesses. The donated items were used to stock an on-site store from which women could choose their prizes upon attaining certain thresholds of abstinence (Amass & Kamien 2004). Other studies have examined the effects of combining brief motivational interventions with behavioral incentives within the context of case management services. In a nonexperimental study conducted with women seeking prenatal care, the addition of case management was associated with less drug use and fewer psychosocial needs among pregnant women, although there were few differences in attendance at counseling sessions over a four-week period regardless of whether participants received motivational interventions and behavioral incentives with or without case management (Jones et al. 2004). Trauma-Specific Interventions In recent years clinical research has accumulated showing that patients in substance abuse treatment who have co-occurring post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), who are more likely to be women, are more impaired at admission to treatment and show less improvement over time in measures of substance use and psychosocial functioning (Najavits et al. 2007a). Similarly, exposure to childhood abuse and trauma among women has been associated with less improvement in substance use severity and mental health status following substance abuse treatment (Sacks, McKendrick & Banks 2008) and higher rates of relapse. In response to this growing understanding of the high prevalence of childhood and adult trauma exposure and/or PTSD among women entering into substance abuse treatment, several interventions have been developed to integrate treatment for trauma exposure and PTSD within the context of substance abuse treatment (McHugo et al. 2005). SAMHSA s Women, Co-Occurring Disorders and Violence Study has provided a rich basis of empirical support for the inclusion of trauma-specific services within the context of substance abuse treatment for women. This multisite, quasiexperimental initiative tested the effectiveness of a menu of trauma-related interventions that were integrated into substance abuse treatment, in comparison with substance abuse treatment-as-usual. The outcome evaluation showed that women who received trauma-informed treatment had greater improvements in trauma and mental health-related symptoms at 12-month follow-up compared with those in the usual-care comparison condition, although there were no differences between groups in substance use outcomes (Morrissey et al. 2005). The strongest effects were found in sites where counseling sessions (either individual or group) integrated trauma-related, substance abuse, and mental health issues, yielding greater reductions in mental health symptoms and alcohol and other drug use problem severity (Cocozza et al. 2005). Examples of trauma-specific interventions include: Seeking Safety, which integrates cognitive behavioral strategies with group psychotherapy to address both PTSD and substance abuse disorders (Najavits 2002; Najavits et al. 1998); Beyond Trauma, which employs relational theory to build upon the importance of relationships in women s emotional well-being (Covington 2003); and the Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Model, which uses group therapy to promote recovery skills and social functioning (Fallot & Harris 2002). Many of these protocols are currently undergoing empirical studies in the field to test their effectiveness with different populations. PARADIGM SHIFT: FROM GENERIC TO GENDER-RESPONSIVE TREATMENT In the 1990s, the term gender responsive emerged to represent the drive to achieve gender equality by consideration of Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 337 SARC Supplement 5, November 2008

12 TABLE 1 Measurement Domains of Gender-Responsive Treatment Domain Treatment Orientation/ Processes Administrator and Staff Organizational Characteristics Women s Services General Services Children s Services Physical Environment Variables Women as priority or target population, treatment model/approach (e.g., nonconfrontational, empowerment, strengths-based, relational, developmental, trauma-informed), cultural competency, use of evidence-based approaches, planned treatment duration, use of written protocols or manuals Program director s gender, percent of female staff, staff education & training, staff beliefs and attitudes about treatment, staff competencies Age of program, type of ownership, type of setting (e.g., stand-alone vs. multimodality), program capacity, accreditation, client case-mix (e.g., percent of women clients), proximity to other service providers, formal & informal relationships with other providers (e.g., exchange of clients, funds, information), referral sources, MIS Prenatal/postnatal services, women-only groups (in mixed-gender settings), parenting training/counseling, trauma/abuse counseling and/or groups, women s health services Gender-specific assessment, psychiatric consult or on-site mental health services, case management, medical, spiritual, educational, vocational, legal/cjs, social services, individual counseling, family therapy, HIV education/prevention, recreational/social, employment/vocational, 12-Step groups, transportation, after-care, housing, alumni groups On-site child care, live-in accommodations for children (in residential settings), age and number rules regarding children s participation, assessment, counseling/mental health services, psychoeducation, educational services, coordination with Child Welfare/Children s Protective Services Program environment, safety and security, child care area is clean and well designed, spatial layout, social/recreational spaces, community environment, access to public transportation the ways in which gender informs various social processes. The construct of gender-responsiveness has been widely applied within an international context to efforts that aim to make social interventions and institutions responsive to the needs of both women and men. These include the areas of economics and budgeting, governance, education, developmental initiatives, reproductive health programs, environmental planning, antipoverty campaigns, and monitoring and evaluation. Training modules have been developed to apply a framework for gender-responsive objectives, strategy, programs, activities, monitoring, and evaluation (UNESCO 2007). The field of substance abuse treatment has similarly evolved to incorporate a focus on gender-responsive treatment (Bloom, Owen & Covington 2003). This progression can be viewed as a series of paradigm shifts, as depicted in Figure 1. Prior to the 1970s, a generic treatment model was prevalent, in which there was little recognition of the specific treatment needs of men and women (Kandall 1996). Beginning in the 1970s, spurred by the burgeoning women s movement that emphasized the role of gender and gender differences in social life, there was an increasing sensitivity to the issue of gender with regard to substance use and addiction. The focus at this time was primarily on gender differences in the initiation of substance use, progression to dependence, physiological effects of alcohol and drug use, and clinical profile and treatment needs of men and women. This focus on gender differences logically led to the development of separate treatment programs for women in order to better address their treatment needs, particularly those related to pregnancy and parenting. Thus, as noted previously, the implementation of several national treatment demonstration projects focusing on pregnant and parenting women fostered the growth of women-specific treatment facilities in the 1980s. Subsequently, the body of research documenting the effectiveness of women-specific treatment, which in large part was stimulated by these demonstration projects, led to a focus on developing gender-responsive treatment approaches that were fully informed by the treatment needs of women (other terms commonly used include women-focused and women- or gender-sensitive treatment, although distinctions among these constructs are not clear). In particular, gender-responsive treatment approaches have been informed by research showing the high prevalence of trauma exposure among women as well as the central role that relationships and intimate partners play in women s addiction and recovery (Covington 2002). The emergence of this new paradigm requires the development of appropriate methodologies to examine the effectiveness of gender-responsive treatment. The treatment Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 338 SARC Supplement 5, November 2008

13 field still lacks adequate measurements of the therapeutic and programmatic components of this construct, which are essential to empirical validation of its effectiveness. Data collected in national surveys of treatment providers, such as N-SSATS, are typically restricted to the organizational characteristics of programs, including the types of services provided and the frequency of their delivery; the composition, ownership, revenue sources, and client referral sources of the treatment facility; and the characteristics of the program director and staff (Ducharme et al. 2007; Durkin 2002; Etheridge et al. 1997). An example of a multidimensional approach for a model of gender-responsive treatment is shown in Table 1. CONCLUSION As is evident from the large volume of research reviewed in this article, there have been tremendous gains in recent years in our understanding of the influence of gender on the epidemiology of alcohol and other drug use, the differential pathways into treatment, the clinical and service need profiles of treatment participants, and the factors related to treatment retention and outcomes. Moreover, the growing area of health services research has yielded a rich body of research on the organizational characteristics of the programs in which women receive substance abuse treatment, the types of services that are provided in these programs, changes in service provision over time, and the relationship of services received to treatment outcomes, including the cost effectiveness of treatment for women. The growing emphasis on evidence-based treatment approaches within the field of addiction treatment provides further opportunities to tailor treatment protocols to increase their effectiveness with women, particularly by using behavioral approaches that use cognitive behavioral therapies, motivational enhancement interventions, and contingency management. At the same time, the emerging emphasis on developing treatment protocols that are gender responsive provides a conceptual framework for evaluating the adequacy of substance abuse treatment for women, but corresponding research designs that fully capture the multiple dimensions of this construct have yet to be developed. Yet, as the policy and funding priority given to women s treatment waxes and wanes dependent on the public attention to this issue, it will be critical to continue to develop, implement, disseminate, and sustain effective treatment approaches that are specifically tailored to addressing women s treatment needs. 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