Desistance and treatment seeking among women with substance use disorders
Addiction rates are rising faster among women than men. However, women with substance use disorders are less likely to enter treatment than males. This study seeks to understand how turning-point events and other maturational processes affect life course persistent women's motivations for seeking treatment for their disorder. We conducted semi-structured in-depth interviews with 30 women who were receiving treatment for addiction using thematic analysis. Recurring themes were as follows: experiences of rock-bottom events prior to entering treatment, feeling sick and tired in regard to both their physical and mental health, and shifting identities or perceptions of themselves. We discuss the importance of motivating shifts in identity to prevent women from entering treatment as a result of more traumatic mechanisms as well as the possibility of intercepting women with substance dependence and chronic health conditions in primary care or hospital settings with the aim of encouraging treatment.