Schiff, Miriam, Nitsa Nacasch, Shabtay Levit, Noam Katz, and Edna B. Foa. “Prolonged Exposure for Treating PTSD Among Female Methadone Patients Who Were Survivors of Sexual Abuse in Israel.” Social Work in Health Care 54.8 (2015): 687-707.
The aims of this pilot study were: (a) to test the feasibility of prolonged exposure (PE) therapy conducted by a social worker staff on female patients in methadone program clinics who were survivors of child sexual abuse or rape and (b) to examine preliminary outcomes of PE on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and illicit drug use at pre- and posttreatment, and up to 12-month follow-ups. Twelve female methadone patients who were survivors of child sexual abuse or rape diagnosed with PTSD were enrolled in 13–19 weekly individual PE sessions. Assessments were conducted at pre-, mid-, and posttreatment, as well as at 3, 6, and 12-month follow-ups. The treatment outcomes measures included PTSD symptoms, depressive symptoms, and illicit drug use. Ten of the 12 study patients completed treatment. PTSD and depressive symptoms showed significant reduction. No relapse to illicit drug use was detected. These preliminary results suggest that PE may be delivered by methadone social workers with successful outcomes. Further research should test the efficacy of PE among methadone patients in a randomized control trial with standard care as the control condition.
Isralowitz, Richard, Alexander Reznik, and Itay Pruginin. “Quality of Life among Former Soviet Union and Israeli Origin Methadone Users.” Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse (early view; online first)
A common treatment intervention for heroin addiction is methadone maintenance. In recent years a wider perspective has been adapted to understand and evaluate addiction through quality of life. This article examines quality of life conditions of 170 male former Soviet Union and Israeli origin drug users in methadone maintenance and provides an understanding of conditions linked to the World Health Organization Quality of Life project’s best available techniques reference document. Having a partner or spouse and less chronic illness are positive factors affecting quality of life regardless of country of origin. Israeli born drug users reported better quality of life based on their psychological health and environment domain responses; no difference was found for the physical health and social relationship domains of the Israeli and former Soviet Union origin males. Because heroin addiction is a chronic and relapsing illness, one of the goals of methadone maintenance is to address patients’ health status from a broad perspective. Based on clinical observations, the treatment of special populations may be enhanced if their particular needs are considered and met. Quality of life factors are relevant for assessing high risk groups, including those from different ethnic origins, in poor physical and psychological health, their treatment and personal adjustment, and their service personnel training needs.
Gueta, Keren, and Gila Chen. “‘I Wanted to Rebel, But There They Hit Me Even Harder’: Discourse Analysis of Israeli Women Offenders’ Accounts of Their Pathways to Substance Abuse and Crime.” International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology (early view; online first).
This study examined women offenders’ accounts of their pathways to substance abuse and crime and the intersection between them, to reach a holistic understanding that captures the dynamics of victimization, agency, and gender. Discourse analyses of the accounts of 11 Israeli women offenders indicated differential use of two discourses. Five participants used the victimization discourse, which viewed substance abuse as an attempt to medicate the self that was injured following victimization experiences; two used the agency discourse, which viewed substance abuse as a way to experience pleasure, leisure, and control over their destiny. Four of the participants used these two contradictory discourses simultaneously. The findings indicate the absence of a cultural discourse that encompasses women’s complex experience of gender, victimization, and agency. Possible implications for intervention are discussed.
While previous studies on recovery from drug addiction have tended to focus on recovery initiation and treatment issues among men, the primary purpose of this study is to shed light on the experience of long-term recovery among women. For this purpose, we employed qualitative methods and interviewed nine long-term (two to seven years) recovering women. Additionally, we monitored five women for two years of the recovery process in a dual research track (a total of 24 interviews). The research findings indicate that developing recovery capital, including self-awareness, stress-coping strategies, and various social resources (Granfield & Cloud, 1999), can be part of an effective strategy for overcoming long-term recovery challenges while financial difficulties, intrusive memories, motherhood and inability to find leisure activities may hinder it. These results indicate the need to reconsider gender-sensitive therapies in order to help women to not only initiate, but also maintain recovery.