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Enhancing Treatment/Recovery Services for Women Through Gender Responsive Psycho-Educational Session Enhanced Professional Learning Series

Currently, women’s involvement in correctional and substance use disorders (SUD) treatment systems is rapidly outpacing men. Most of these programs are based upon gender-neutral services, meaning that their programs were designed with men in mind. Specifically, many of these programs address why men use drugs and alcohol and how to reduce recidivism with little emphasis placed on the treatment needs of women. This is especially worrisome for women in correctional or treatment settings with stimulants as their drug of choice. Statistics demonstrate that women make up more than half of the clients treated for methamphetamine and other stimulants in the majority of SUD treatment programs. As such, a recent study indicated that five times the percentage of females than males attributed initial methamphetamine use to a desire to lose weight and more females than males reported using meth to get more energy. Stimulant use by women often leads to or is accompanied by high rates of body dissatisfaction and preoccupation with body shape; eating pathology and compensatory behaviors; binge eating; nutritional deficiencies; energy and fatigue issues; and weight gain among women in treatment for SUDs and in correctional settings. This Enhanced Professional Learning series will address these and other core issues that are unique to female SUD treatment clients in comparison to their male counterparts including weight and energy as a driving mechanism to use, triggers for relapse, cross addiction, psychosocial needs, physical activity and dopamine, social media, “fat” internalization, electrolyte imbalance, metabolic changes during drug use and recovery, self-medication and disordered eating patterns. Finally, Healthy Steps to Freedom, a gender-responsive program designed to augment and enhance existing treatment services will be shared and available for implementation.


Every Thursday, October 3 – November 21, 2019 from 12:30 –2:00 pm MT


  • Recognize the symptoms specific to women that are linked to substance use, relapse and related co-occurring disorders
  • Understand the prevalence of body dissatisfaction and exposure to thin-ideals and their implications in the treatment setting for women in recovery
  • Understand the prevalence of eating pathology and weight concerns and their implications to treatment and relapse prevention
  • Identify common ways women self-medicate through caloric restriction, dieting, compensatory behaviors and energy supplements and their impact on substance use addiction
  • Understand the role of healthy eating and physical activity in recovery and learn approaches to address poor nutrition, sedentary behavior and alternatives to dieting
  • Demonstrate ways to incorporate health education and gender-responsive life skills to augment existing treatment


  • Behavioral Health, Substance Use Disorders, and Recovery Service providers located in Utah


  • Access to appropriate technology to utilize Zoom videoconferencing platform (internet connection, webcam, laptop/tablet, speakers and microphone)
    • View a 20-minute tutorial on how to use the Zoom videoconferencing platform
    • Attend a one-hour online Orientation on October 3, 2019 at 12:30 pm
  • Commit to 7-weeks of online training for 1.5 hours weekly from Oct 10 – Nov 21, 2019
  • Complete weekly self-study learning activities


  • Annie Lindsay, PhD
Starts: Oct. 3, 2019 12:30 pm
Ends: Oct. 3, 2019 2:00 pm
Registration Deadline
September 26, 2019
Event Type
Project ECHO
Hosted by
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