Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Kari Fletcher


Social Work


Within detox settings, women with substance use disorders may present with a myriad of risk factors and consequences related to their use. This research explored biopsychosocial issues specific to women using detoxification services and how medical concerns, comorbid mental health issues, trauma history, and pregnancy/children affected subsequent linkages to treatment by interviewing professionals who worked with this population within detoxification settings. Licensed professionals (n=8) were interviewed regarding their experiences with women in detox settings. The resulting data from interview transcriptions were analyzed, and themes that developed included admission contexts, vulnerability, comorbidity, barriers to treatment, and integrated care. Findings revealed common themes with vulnerabilities unique to women in detox settings, including significant physical and sexual trauma, medical and mental health comorbidity, and barriers to treatment such as being a custodial parent. The need for integrated care also arose as a common theme amongst participants. Awareness of these needs allows social workers to develop a deep understanding of the complexities that women with substance use disorders present with, especially those that access detox services, and acquire the skills to effectively work with this population to improve recovery outcomes.

Included in

Social Work Commons