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چهار شنبه 23 بهمن 1398

Communications of Hossein and Bill (Reply to hossein- Feb 4, 2020)

موضوع : Communications of Hossein and Bill
I appreciate your wise reflections on the gender differences in addiction and recovery. When I entered the addictions field in the U.S. in the late 1960s, it was a man’s world.
Communications of Hossein and Bill (Reply to hossein- Feb 4, 2020)

Feb 4,2019

Dear Hossein,

I appreciate your wise reflections on the gender differences in addiction and recovery. When I entered the addictions field in the U.S. in the late 1960s, it was a man’s world. Nearly all research on addiction was based on studies of men with the assumption that everything learned about men could be indiscriminately applied to women. Nearly all clients entering addiction treatment were men, treatment staff were all men, and AA and NA groups at that time were mostly men. Thanks to a group of pioneering women, that has changed dramatically and the research done here confirms many of the insights you shared. In study after study, nearly every area of comparison has revealed differences between men and women.
Studies here reveal that there is far great stigma attached to addiction than that for men, which serves to postpone help-seeking until problems are quite severe. In the U.S., decades of highly sexualized images of addicted women has made it very hard for women to seek help for addiction before a vanguard of women in recovery stepped into the public light to challenges these caricatures.

Physiological studies note many of the differences you note. The progression of addiction is faster than for men, alcohol and other drug effects are amplified for women when similar dosages are consumed and risks of drug-related physical problems is greater (e.g., alcohol-related cancers or liver disease). Women experience greater obstacles to entering treatment and enter treatment with higher frequencies of co-occurring psychiatric conditions. In the U.S., women entering treatment also present with high rates of developmental trauma (e.g., histories of physical/sexual abuse). The child-bearing and parental/family duties of women also add special burdens to address within the recovery process.  Segregated treatment for addicted women to address these special needs did not begin on a widespread basis in the U.S. until the 1980s and many communities still lack such specialized resources.  There are now many women only AA and NA meetings and groups such as Women for Sobriety and She Recovers that have expanded special recovery support resources for women.

Women have also been affected by the U.S. opioid epidemic with deaths from overdose among women aged 30–64 years increasing by more than 250% in recent years. Provisions have also had to be made for the care of addicted pregnant women and their babies.
There is a great deal of research now being done on the neurobiology of addiction and I hope this research will further unravel important differences in addiction vulnerability, addiction progression, and recovery challenges. Given your experience treating women within Congress 60, I would encourage you to write up any differences in the treatment process for women that you feel are critical to consider. 

The man’s world of earlier addiction treatment in the U.S. has changed considerably as many of our prominent researchers and clinicians are now women. This will help as we have yet so much to learn about addiction and recovery among women. 
My wife and I have been quite busy helping address some health problems her mother is experiencing and getting our son settled into a new home he and his wife recently purchased. Rita and I continue to enjoy our time reading, going to plays and finding new restaurants in our area. I am continuing to enjoy sketching portraits, though the increase in my skills is very slow. I am still waiting to do a sketch of you that I feel is good enough to share with you. That may take a while.

Please extend my warm regards to your family and to all members of Congress 60.

Friends and Brothers Forever,
Bill

 
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