Social Work



Degree Name

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

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper


Kari Fletcher


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.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.