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Substance Abuse Treatment: Addressing the Specific Needs of Women

Author: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA

Course Created: 2009

Practice Level: Beginner to Intermediate

No book to buy Duration: 15 hours
3.4 out of 4.0, Based on: 18 reviews

Course Summary

Clinicians are increasingly aware of the important differences between men and women with regard to the physical effects of substance use and the specific issues related to substance use disorders. They are also recognizing that these differences have an impact on treatment—that gender does make a difference. When women’s specific needs are addressed from the outset, improved treatment engagement, retention, and outcomes are the result.

Course Format

This course contains downloadable online lessons (PDF or Word) and a practice test. When you're ready, purchase the course by clicking the "Add To Cart" button. This will let you take the test, complete the course evaluation and receive your certificate for CE credits.

Course Syllabus

  • Introduction
  • Patterns of Use: From Initiation to Treatment
  • Substance Use and Birth Outcomes
  • Culturally Responsive Screening and Assessment
  • The Impact of Trauma and Prenatal Care
  • Substance Abuse Among Specific Population Groups
  • Relational Model Approach
  • Postpartum Relapse Prevention

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss the concept of telescoping.
  • Describe a woman’s genetic likelihood of developing an alcohol use disorder.
  • Identify the incidence of women with alcohol dependence who have co-occurring disorders.
  • Describe the relationship between alcohol use and organ damage.
  • Explain the impact of fetal exposure to amphetamines.
  • Identify an instrument for pregnant women who are risk for alcohol use.
  • Identify one of the biggest barriers to women entering treatment.
  • Identify the strongest risk factor for being a victim of intimate partner violence.
  • Identify the incidence of women with eating disorders.


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