Professor/Associate Dean University of Alabama at Birmingham; Clinic Director/Nurse Practitioner UAB Clinic at the WellHouse
Southeast Christian Church La Grange Campus Breakout Room B
Substance use disorders are a major health concern for many trafficking survivors. Trafficking survivors with substance use disorders (SUDs) often have a complicated clinical picture, with a range of emotional, behavioral, and health-related consequences. The majority of survivors have depression, anxiety, and/or posttraumatic stress disorder. In addition to these diagnoses, many victims of sex trafficking also have secondary psychological issues such as alcohol and drug abuse plus concurrent medical illnesses, which add to the psychological burden that sex trafficked victims endure. For many of these survivors, the substances are a primary coping tool for managing overwhelming emotions and trauma-related symptoms. In order for these women to successfully address their substance use requires a collaborative approach by all involved in the care and sheltering of these women. This presentation will highlight the importance of a collaborative model, with the woman playing an active part in plan development and execution.