Substance abuse treatment is crucial to contemporary society, in which everyday life stresses and personal problems lead to increased alcohol or drug consumption, which, in turn, leads to numerous social, family, and other problems. This issue is even more important for women, as, being more impulsive and emotional than men are; they tend to engage into substance abuse problems much faster than men do. Article by Carla A. Green explores the topic of substance abuse treatment for women, in particular the way gender differences should be accounted for when considering and entering substance abuse treatment programs. The intended audience for the article is medical and social researchers and practitioners that are engaged in the development of treatment programs for women.
In her article, the author suggests that women have more barriers to enter substance abuse treatment programs than men do, and, even if they attempt to enter such programs, the practitioners should differentiate carefully between the type of program that should be offered, namely, whether mixed gender or specialized program should be provided. Green states that “because women continue to seek substance abuse treatment in primary care and mental health settings, care providers in these settings could be trained to identify and refer women to specialty addiction services.” (Green 2006) The author further states that working single women are more likely to attend such programs than married women, because married women do not get the necessary impulse from their spouses and may feel embarrassed to attend programs that potentially may solve their alcohol related problems.
One of the major ideas explored in the article is that more research should be devoted to differentiation between mixed gender and specialized programs, as this may have a considerable impact on the outcome of the treatment that will follow. Practitioners should think about the barriers women have and how to overcome those barriers in order to offer the help required. “Women with substance abuse problems were less likely to seek help than men with similar problem severity.” (Green 2006) While the author suggests that more recent research shows that women’s attendance to substance abuse treatment programs have improved significantly over the years, still a lot needs to be done to account for the differences in treatment for men and women. (Green 2006) An idea that is numerously repeated in the article is that more research by various circles needs to be performed in order to design and start implementing treatment programs for women that would be effective.
The author’s position stated in the article is quite clear: there are differences between men and women when it comes to considering and attending treatment programs, and those differences should be accounted for by the medical community. The usefulness of the research is significant, as the issue explored relates to many contemporary American women, and society at large should come up with the most plausible alternatives of how to help those in need of assistance.
It is evident that the author has worked through numerous related research materials, which makes her own work well grounded and easy to follow.
I believe that the article is definitely worth reading, especially for those engaged in design and implementation of programs for various groups of people. The ideas elaborated upon by the author should be further developed by adding direct practical experience, and, a nation wide study would be useful to determine how the solutions proposed by the author may be integrated into the framework of substance abuse programs that are being currently administered. The article, however, lacks statistical inputs, which could show the issue from quantitative perspective.