Innovative trauma-informed therapy for women with substance use disorders in Israel

Wednesday, 23 November, 2022 - 09:00 to 19:30


One in every 3 women is sexually assaulted during her lifetime. Children who are exposed to child sexual abuse are at particular risk for developing substance abuse disorder (SUD) in adolescence, and they tend to suffer more from depression, anxiety and eating disorders. Many women with SUDs use drugs for self-medication of past traumas. These women are at risk for re-victimization in traditional treatment; therefore, gender-sensitive treatment is needed. Today, in Israel, there are treatment services and centers for women with SUD, but not in all the facilities there is trained staff for trauma-focused treatment. We describe a trauma-informed care model to address this need.

Trauma-informed treatment for women with SUDs is complex and requires awareness and services focused on women needs. Treatment must include the following components: 1.Trauma-based treatment models such as TF-CBT and EMDR, as well as dynamic treatment, 2.Interventions which consider patient dependencies 3.Family treatment 4.Body-mind based treatment 5.Psychiatric treatment 6.Legal assistance 7.Rehabilitation plan and assistance in every step.

In Israel today there is a wide range of both women-only and community-based services for trauma-informed treatment of SUDs in women. These programs include therapeutic communities, detox centers, ambulatory care centers and services specifically designed for women engaged in prostitution. Training the professional stuff is our main goal. This year we added to formal training an online training open to all professional working with woman- 16 academic hours course.

Developing and opening more new facilities is necessary. That will require special multidisciplinary training for the range of professionals who work with women. We will describe the progress in achieving these goals.



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