Meeting the Challenge: Ending Treatment Disparities for Women of Color
Research clearly shows that women are more likely than men to experience co-occurring mental health and substance abuse/addiction disorders (NIDA, 1998), thus women have an increased need for comprehensive treatment models. Because the majority of persons who suffer from addictive disorders, and hence those who seek treatment for substance abuse/addiction and co-occurring mental disorders are male and white, women of minority status are often unaware of, or unable to access, appropriate services. When women of color who have mental health problems, substance abuse/addiction and co-occurring disorders do seek help, they can encounter inadequate and irrelevant treatment programs with little or no sensitivities to specific gender, racial and cultural issues, such as childcare and family support services. Additionally, many treatment programs do not provide services that support a woman's ability to recover successfully in the community, such as appropriate job skills training, transportation and affordable housing (NMHA) (Authors).
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