COMPARING WOMEN IN SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT WHO REPORT SEXUAL AND/OR PHYSICAL ABUSE WITH WOMEN WHO DO NOT REPORT ABUSE HISTORY
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This descriptive study explored whether women in substance abuse treatment who report a history of sexual and/or physical abuse have different drug use profiles than women who do not report such abuse. The data originated from a NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) study designed to evaluate the effects of different treatment modalities in inpatient substance abuse treatment for women. The study compared the drug profiles of women in four areas: drug of choice, frequency of use, problem severity, and level of psychological problems. The following groups were compared: 1) women who did not report abuse, 2) women who reported physical abuse only, 3) women who reported sexual abuse only, and 4) women who reported physical and sexual abuse. The study did not find significant differences in either drug choice, problem severity, or frequency of drug use. In the area of psychological problems, the study did find a significant difference in interpersonal sensitivity between participants who reported a sexual abuse history vs. the other abuse groups. This finding suggests that women with a sexual abuse history are more mistrustful in their relationships with others, and this may suggest that group treatment will be more difficult for sexually abused women than individual treatment. Overall, the findings may also suggest abused women do not need different drug or alcohol treatment approaches than non-abused women although it does not preclude attention to the effects of their abuse.
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