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Healthy Steps to Freedom Introductory Webinar

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 high rates of eating pathologies and compensatory behaviors, body dissatisfaction and preoccupation with body shape, binge eating, nutritional deficiencies, and weight gain among women in treatment for SUDs and in correctional settings. 


This webinar will address core issues that are unique to female SUD treatment clients in comparison to their male counterparts regarding weight and energy as a driving mechanism to use, triggers for relapse, trends in drug use for women and the complexity of health-related complications and psychosocial needs, prescription medication and over-the-counter drug manipulation. Finally, gender-responsive approaches to augment and enhance existing treatment services will be discussed. This webinar is based on the Healthy Steps to Freedom program.


Presenter: Anne R. Lindsay, Ph.D. is Associate Professor and Extension Specialist at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her research focuses on gender-responsive approaches to women under correctional supervision for SUDs, particularly those related to nutrition, physical activity, eating pathology, body image, weight and other health-related topics.