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Domestic Violence Shelter Residents' Substance Abuse Treatment Needs and Options

NCJ Number
Aggression and Violent Behavior Volume: 17 Issue: 3 Dated: May/June 2012 Pages: 188-197
Julie A. Schumacher; Deborah J. Holt
Date Published
June 2012
10 pages
This article examines the substance treatment needs and options for residents of domestic violence shelters.
The association between intimate partner aggression and alcohol and other substance use problems is well-established in the literature. However, the nature and scope of alcohol and other substance use problems in women who seek or are likely to seek domestic violence shelter services is difficult to ascertain. The first goal of the current review was to identify and synthesize the findings of studies in which alcohol and other substance use, problem use, or diagnoses in shelter residents was assessed. Despite methodological limitations, this body of studies provides compelling evidence that a substantial number of domestic violence shelter residents (22-72 percent) have current or past problems with alcohol or other substances and may benefit from treatment. The second goal of the current review was to provide an overview of the availability and limitations of options that are currently available to address domestic violence shelter residents' substance abuse treatment needs. Although substance abuse is a largely under-met need of women seeking domestic violence shelter, promising findings from model integrated treatment programs, as well as the knowledge gained through implementation of these programs provide useful future directions for addressing these co-occurring issues. (Published Abstract)