Abstract

Women, trauma and alcohol dependency: Connections and disconnections in alcohol treatment for women

Women, trauma and alcohol dependency: Connections and disconnections in alcohol treatment for women

Deanna L Mulvihill

RN PhD, TLI Foundation,

USA

 

Statement of the Problem: Women who have experienced intimate partnerviolence(IPV)areatgreaterriskforphysicalandmentalhealth problems including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol dependency. On their own IPV, PTSD and alcohol dependency result   in significant personal, social and economic cost and the impact of all threemaycompoundthesecosts.Researchershavereportedthatwomen with these experiences are more difficult to treat; many donotaccess treatmentandthosewhodo,frequentlydonotstaybecauseofdifficulty maintaining helping relationships. However, thesewomen’sperspective                   has not been previously studied. The purpose of this study is todescribe the experience of seeking help for alcohol dependency by women with PTSD and a history of IPV in the context in which it occurs. Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: An intersubjective ethnographic study using hermeneutic dialogue was utilized during participant observation, in- depth interviews and focus groups. An ecological framework was utilizedtofocusontheinteractionbetweenthecounselorsandthestaffto understand this relationships and the context in which it occurs.

 

Findings: Thewomeninthisstudywereveryactivehelpseekers.Theyencountered many gaps in continuity of care including discharge because ofrelapse. Although the treatment center was a warm, healing and spiritual place, the women left the center without treatment for their trauma needs   and many without any referral to address these outstanding issues. Conclusion & Significance: Women with alcohol dependence and

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PTSD with a history of IPV want help however the health and social services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donotalwaysrecognizetheircallsforhelportheirsymptomsofdistress. Recommendations are made for treatment centers to become trauma- informed that would help this recognition.


Author(s): Deanna L Mulvihill RN PhD, TLI Foundation, USA

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