Saturday, March 26, 2016

Personal Networks of Women in Residential & Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment

This study compared compositional, social support, and structural characteristics of personal networks among women in residential (RT) and intensive outpatient (IOP) substance abuse treatment. 

The study sample included 377 women from inner-city substance use disorder treatment facilities. Respondents were asked about 25 personal network members known within the past 6 months, characteristics of each (relationship, substance use, types of support), and relationships between each network member. 

Differences between RT women and IOP women in personal network characteristics were identified using Chi-square and t-tests. Compared to IOP women, RT women had more substance users in their networks, more network members with whom they had used substances and fewer network members who provided social support. 

These findings suggest that women in residential treatment have specific network characteristics, not experienced by women in IOP, which may make them more vulnerable to relapse; they may therefore require interventions that target these specific network characteristics in order to reduce their vulnerability to relapse...

Upon treatment entry, women report child related concerns, psychosocial difficulties, physical/sexual abuse, health issues and mental health problems to a far greater degree than their male counterparts (). These complex problems present difficulties for women in accessing social support and developing supportive personal network relationships (), thereby compromising their recovery (; ). Although different clinical profiles have been identified between women in residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment, no previous studies have examined or identified differences in personal network characteristics between these two groups of women. The purpose of this study was to identify differences in personal network characteristics between women entering residential substance abuse treatment and those entering intensive outpatient treatment. A deeper understanding of these differences may add an important dimension to substance abuse treatment planning, and may be utilized to inform treatment interventions for women in residential and outpatient treatment settings.

Clinical characteristics by treatment modality (N = 377).
n (%)

Residential (n = 119)Outpatient (n = 258)χ2 or tp
Substance use disorder (SUD)
  Marijuana44 (37.9)105 (41.0)0.320.574
  Amphetamine3 (2.6)1 (0.4)3.620.092
  Sedatives5 (4.3)14 (5.5)0.220.638
  Cocaine78 (67.2)135 (52.7)6.870.009
  Opiates35 (30.2)51 (19.9)4.720.030
  Hallucinogens0 (0.0)9 (3.5)4.180.062
  Inhalants0 (0.0)1 (0.4)0.45>0.999
  Phencyclidine3 (2.6)9 (3.5)0.220.761
  Alcohol63 (54.3)112 (43.8)3.570.059
Multiple SUD (yes)74 (63.8)132 (51.8)4.670.031
Mental health disorder
  Generalized anxiety21 (17.6)68 (26.5)3.500.062
  Posttraumatic39 (32.8)108 (42.0)2.920.087
  Major depressive episode68 (57.1)149 (58.0)0.020.879
  Dysthymia5 (4.2)7 (2.7)0.570.531
  Manic episode27 (22.7)91 (35.4)6.110.013
  Hypomanic episode9 (7.6)31 (12.1)1.730.188
Dual diagnosis89 (74.8)186 (72.7)0.190.664
Previous treatment90 (75.6)185 (72.3)0.470.493
HIV test result (positive)1 (0.9)5 (2.0)0.660.669
Multiple chronic health condition (2 or more)26 (22.0)65 (25.2)0.440.507
Trauma symptom checklist, M(SD)49.40 (20.94)42.51 (21.29)2.930.004
Fisher’s Exact Test.

Full article at:

1Department of Social Welfare, Dongguk University, Gyeongju-si, Republic of Korea
2The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA
3School of Social Work, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA
4Gyeonggido Family & Women’s Research Institute, Gyeonggido, Suwon, Republic of Korea
5Survey Research Center, University of Florida, Gainsville, FL, USA
Correspondence: Dr Elizabeth Tracy, The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, 11235 Bellflower Road, Cleveland 44106, OH

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