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At present, the body of research on chemical dependency programs does not adequately address gendered barriers to treatment. A gendered approach is needed to conceptualize and address women’s experiences with addiction as distinctive from that of men. A gendered approach sheds light on how gender plays a role in the entrance, continuance, and success of women in treatment programs for chemical dependency. In my research, I argue that applying a gendered lens will lay the groundwork for addressing women’s specific needs in regards to substance abuse treatment. The research design for this project utilizes an analysis of existing secondary sources. Specifically, I will also examine historical, ethnographic, and narrative accounts of treatment programs. I assert that applying a gender lens to the study of women in drug treatment programs reveals women's particular barriers, stigmas, and struggles. Applying a gendered lens will thereby be beneficial to the future of women’s treatment and continued sobriety. Findings from research projects such as this one raise awareness about the inequalities women face and advocate for heightened responsibility on the part of medical practitioners to develop treatment plans within recovery institutions specific to the needs of women.

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University of Minnesota, Morris


Morris, MN


Drug abuse--Treatment; Women drug addicts--Rehabilitation; Women drug addicts--Services for



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Conference Proceeding

Women and Drug Abuse: Applying a Gendered Lens to Treatment Programs

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Sociology Commons