Santa Monica-based CLARE Foundation and Conscious Recovery by CLARE, a midmarket outpatient treatment initiative launching in fall 2013, held a one-hour workshop titled “Mars & Venus in Addiction: The Dangers of Ignoring Gender Differences in Substance Abuse Treatment” on Friday.
The workshop was part of the 49 Conference of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT), taking place in Sacramento from May 16-19.
The presentation was led by CLARE’s Director of Clinical Services Matthew Healy, LMFT, and Conscious Recovery by CLARE’s Program Director Jennifer Musselman, MA, MFTI.
“Mars & Venus in Addiction” presents research findings from a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA)-funded program evaluation CLARE Foundation conducted in partnership with UCLA’s Integrated Substance Abuse Programs (ISAP).
This study, along with other contemporary research, indicates that, although women in recovery report increased levels of satisfaction across several individual domains (including psychological, physical, and emotional wellbeing), they cumulatively report less satisfaction post-treatment.
As these findings did not hold true for male participants, this research provides an essential launching point for understanding the role of gender in the success of substance abuse treatment models.
Building on CLARE’s long history of effective, gender-specific treatment, Healy and Musselman will use this research as a basis for training healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, social workers, psychotherapists, and psychiatrists, about gender-specific approaches and competencies that are increasingly vital to effective substance abuse treatment.
Healy and Musselman offered techniques for improving outcomes in circumstances in which gender-specific treatment is not available, as well as training for clinicians who are seeking to support sustained recovery in clients beginning the process of reintegration into social and familial networks.