Triple Jeopardy: Violence, Drugs and Recovery in 25 Women's Lives

Judith Grant, Ohio University

Much has been written concerning the relationship between women, violence and the abuse they experience, coupled with their drug addiction. However, few studies have documented the voices of women who move into recovery and attempt to control the ongoing violence still prevalent in their lives. Violence against women and substance abuse are complex and multifacted problems. Most health researchers assume that addiction and the recovery processes from the use/abuse of drugs affects women the same way as it does men, thus ignoring the role of gender in their analysis. I contend that treatment models that ignore the gendered context of social relationships fail to address the lives of women who use/abuse drugs and, subsequently, enter recovery. I argue that the intersection fo structure, culture and agency coupled with sex roles, drug use/abuse, and recover processes intersect in distinctly different ways. Therefore, this paper argues for a more complex and multifacted approach to the issue of violence, women's addiction and their recovery processes through documenting a research study of 25 women's voices as they narrate their recovery experiences.

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Updated 05/20/2006