Women In Drug Treatment Have More Difficulty Progressing Than Men

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Women In Drug Treatment Have More Difficulty Progressing Than Men

According to a study published recently in the Journal of Women and Health, women in rehab progress slower, and with more difficulty than men. Therefore, they may need more focused and extensive treatment to have greater success at achieving recovery.

The study included 183 patients with addiction (96 men and 87 women) treated between 2002-2006. While the overall dropout rate among patients was 38.8%, women dropped out much more often (47.1% versus 31.3) than men.

The study found that women began using substances later than men, but tended to develop more serious addictions. Also, a woman’s addiction had greater effects on social life, health status, employment, mental health, and family. Men did exhibit higher rates of legal problems, however.

It was also revealed that more often reported a history of mistreatment and sexual abuse, which may explain why they incur more severe addiction problems and less successful treatment outcomes. Women also had higher rates of unemployment than men (20% versus just 2.1%) at the time of treatment.

Dr. Javier Fernández-Montalvo., study researcher:

“We have found that lifetime rate of abuse is significantly higher in women than in men, and abused women are more likely to drop out of addiction programs.”

“Moreover, when we studied the profile of these women who did not complete treatment, we found that they presented a more severe profile in most of the psychopathologic variables associated with addiction.”

Also, more women who dropped out of alcohol or drug treatment had battled depression, with fewer violent incidents than men.The substances used in the study were mostly alcohol and cocaine, with men using alcohol longer than women.

Other reports have identified differences in the severity of male and female addiction recovery outcomes, but with inconsistent results. Some research has shown that more female patients drop out, while other indicate the opposite is true.


“Women must be provided with additional targeting intervention to promote better treatment outcomes. It is necessary to continue to study addiction with a focus on gender.”

“According to these results, drug-addicted women showed worse therapeutic progress than men with similar histories.”

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology


Quotes retrieved from www.drugaddictionnow.com.

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