Addiction Change Survey = important questions about treatment

The internet-based Addiction Change Survey continues to yield revealing results about the varied ways that people use to change what they consider to be addiction. The initial results have produced many interesting ideas and questions. The Addiction Research Foundation now plans to use these ideas and questions to get even more information that may help others to recovery from addiction. Women and men are almost equal in their report of no other medical condition (53% and 56% respectively) It is also notable that 70% of men report no other psychiatric condition while only 32% of women say the same. Does that mean that women with addiction are more likely to receive a co-existing psychiatric disorder? Are women that much more likely to have a co-existing psychiatric disorder or does some bias exist. Either result could be helpful in improving treatment for women. We wonder why many more men than women report that AA or other 12 step programs are the most important part of their recovery process. Why do less women (43%) report AA as a “most helpful” current recovery activity versus men (63%)? Some have theorized that Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was a program that was originally developed by men and for men. Is AA less attractive or just less effective for women? It might be expected that more women (w-78%; m-59%) report childhood abuse or neglect. If that statistic were found to be generally true would trauma based treatment be generally more effective for women while 12 step focused treatment would be better for men. Of course the idea of gender specific treatment is not new. Our hope is that more research will produce the data that we need to suggest change that might improve treatment outcomes.