Women, Homelessness, and Substance Abuse Moving Beyond the Stereotypes
This study examined the characteristics of homeless women with substance abuse problems. Data were collected on a sample of 323 home less substance abusers. First, 49 women and 274 men were compared to demonstrate distinct problems and treatment needs of the women. Results showed that the women were more likely than the men to abuse drugs, but less likely to receive substance abuse treatment. In addition, women spent more time in doubled-up living arrangements, and were more likely to receive outpatient psychiatric treatment. Second, two subgroups of women were compared: those who had been homeless for 6 months or less, and those who had been homeless longer than 6 months during their lifetime. The women who had been homeless longer were less educated, younger when they first became homeless, and were more likely to abuse alcohol, to have been assaulted, and to have attempted suicide. Implications for research and treatment are discussed.
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