The purpose of this model is to foster the development of state-of-the-art recovery for women with alcohol and other drug dependence and to foster the healthy development of the children of substance-abusing women. The model is a guide that can be adapted by communities and used to build comprehensive programs over time. The goal of alcohol and other drug treatment is to support a woman's journey to a healthy lifestyle for herself, and for her family whenever possible. Because alcohol and drug dependent women tend to have few economic and social resources, comprehensive treatment is extremely important. The purpose of comprehensive treatment is to address a woman's substance abuse in the context of her health and her relationship to family, community, and society. This relationship is influenced by gender, culture, race and ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, and age.
Treatment that addresses the full range of a woman's needs is associated with increasing abstinence and improvement in other measures of recovery, including parenting skills and overall emotional health. Treatment that addresses alcohol and other drug abuse only may well fail and contribute to a higher potential for relapse.
Confidentiality and informed consent, as well as the establishment of universal precautions against spread of communicable diseases, are essential throughout all aspects of treatment.
Although this treatment model has been designed specifically for women and their families, many components apply to men as well.
I. Program Structure and Administration
- Development of joint cooperation among substance abuse agencies, schools, courts, probation, health and mental health providers, job training programs, and human service agencies. Creation of an inventory of local, State, and Federal resources available to the treatment program.
- Establishment of an advisory body to assist the treatment program in collaborating with other resources and organizations, and to advocate on behalf of the program. This body should reflect the cultural and socioeconomic diversity of the women and include recovering persons as well as community leaders. Training and support are necessary.
- Cross training of staff in collaborating organizations should foster the development of an integrated continuum of care for each woman in treatment and must address differences in philosophy, experience, and style of various disciplines.
- Staffing should include individuals who are culturally competent and sensitive to and knowledgeable about treating substance abusing women.
- Substance abuse treatment in correctional facilities should be delivered by trained and certified personnel.
- Staff training should encompass the guidelines generated in CSAT's TIPs that relate specifically to Perinatal Substance Abuse.
- Clinicians and program managers should participate in staff training. Such training should lead to understanding the impact of psychological and psychiatric disorders, incest, physical and sexual abuse and their impact on recovery, and readiness for treatment, family dysfunction, multi-addiction, and the importance of flexible treatment approaches.