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Treating Women and Girls

Earlier this month, the White House Council on Women and Girls released the first comprehensive report on the status of women in the United States since 1963. The report shows that while women have made great strides over the last 50 years, there continue to be areas where they face unique challenges. Dealing with substance abuse is one such area.

Research shows that women and girls face specific challenges in substance abuse treatment and require customized prevention, treatment and recovery programs. In recognition of these challenges, Odyssey House offers several programs that meet the needs of women and adolescent girls. In 1973, we opened the first residential center for addicted mothers and their children so parents don’t have to choose between caring for their children and seeking the treatment they need. Additionally, in 2007 we opened the Lafayette Avenue Teen Girls program, the city’s first publicly funded all-girls residential center. This program offers girls the individualized support and attention they need to grow into healthy young women.

Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, understands the importance of providing treatment services tailored for women and girls. In his response to the White House report, Director Kerlikowske said, “By expanding access to evidence- and gender-based treatment services that address the unique needs of women, particularly parenting women, we strengthen American families and communities.”

For more information on substance abuse in women and girls, click here for a study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.

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