Treating Substance Abuse and Trauma Symptoms in Incarcerated Women: An Effectiveness Study [2015]

Incarcerated women report high rates of trauma exposure and substance use. The present study evaluated an integrated treatment program, Helping Women Recover/Beyond Trauma (HWR/BT), supplemented with additional modules on domestic violence, relapse prevention, and a 12-step program. The HWR/BT combined treatment program was compared with a matched comparison sample that did not receive the target treatment. Self-report measures were collected from 95 incarcerated women, with 56 women in the completer sample. Women in the treatment condition attended a 4-month group treatment. Results indicated statistically significant between-group differences, favoring the treatment condition, for negative posttraumatic cognitions. Pre–post, but not between-group, differences were also observed for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and substance-related self-efficacy, whereas no differences were observed for depression, dissociation, tension reduction, or anxious arousal. The present study indicates some promise for specific aspects of the treatment, although results question the overall benefit of the program over standard prison services.

Rachael M. Swopes, Joanne L. Davis, James A. Scholl
Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Vol 32, Issue 7, 2017