- Brief interventions for patients with at-risk drinking
- Managing alcohol use disorders
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Medications for alcohol use disorders
- Managing alcohol withdrawal
- Alcoholic liver disease
- Treating alcohol problems in older adults
- Treating alcohol problems in women
- Managing alcohol use in pregnancy
- Treating co-occurring alcohol use disorders and depression
- Alcohol treatment: References
Treating alcohol problems in women
Barriers to treatment
Women with alcohol problems are half as likely as men to have received treatment for alcohol use problems (Weisner & Schmidt, 1992). Reasons for this difference may include:
- lack of disclosure due to women's ability to hide alcohol use and related problems
- child-care issues
- lack of financial resources, especially among older women.
Approaches to treating women with alcohol problems
Research on treating and managing alcohol problems in women has revealed some effective approaches:
- Brief interventions can decrease heavy drinking and alcohol-related morbidity (Manwell et al., 2000). These interventions include motivation-for-change strategies, patient education, assessment and direct feedback, contracting and goal setting, behavioural modification techniques and using written materials such as self-help manuals.
- Treatment that is women-specific is more effective than mixed-gender treatment (Blow, 2000).
- Continuing to participate in mutual aid groups once abstinent helps to prevent relapse in women (Blow, 2000).
- Taking naltrexone two hours before an anticipated high-risk situation reduces alcohol consumption in early problem drinkers, particularly women (Enoch & Goldman, 2002).
In addition, women can benefit from:
- counselling about the low-risk drinking guidelines
- pharmacological treatment [link to "Medications for alcohol use disorder], such as naltrexone
- women-specific mutual aid groups (e.g., Women for Sobriety)
- parenting support, such as parenting classes or groups
- assistance with child care so they can attend treatment
- referral to trauma treatment (e.g., related to violence, abuse)
- assessment and treatment of underlying mood disorders.
All treatment should be trauma informed and gender responsive to reduce barriers to care and to enhance treatment retention.