Skip to main content

S24-400 Women and Addiction: Exploring the Role of Trauma

Total Credits: 4 including 4 Category I CE

200 Adults, Couples & Families |  400 Substance Use Disorders
Veronica Cruz, LCSW-C
Course Levels:
4 Hours 15 Minutes
Target Audience:
Social Workers, LCPCs, and Psychologists



According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, men are more likely than women to abuse illicit drugs. Substance abuse treatment and interventions have historically been based on the needs of addicted men, but women are just as likely to become addicted. In fact, they are more susceptible to cravings and relapse than their male counterparts. Women respond to drug and alcohol use differently and present with unique treatment challenges. Research has indicated that addicted women and girls present with a host of problems that contribute to their addiction. The most prominent is a complex history of trauma. In this workshop, the presenter will explore gender differences and addiction, trauma, co-occurring disorders, and gender-specific treatment, including the Women’s Integrated Treatment (WIT) mode. Case vignettes will be presented, and participants will work in a group setting to further maximize their understanding of the concepts presented.    


Veronica Cruz, LCSW-C Related Seminars and Products

Cruz and Associates

Ms. Cruz is a bilingual (Spanish/English) clinical and forensic social worker who has worked with children, adolescents, and families for over eighteen years. Ms. Cruz was employed for ten years as a forensic social worker at the Office of the Public Defender in Montgomery County. In addition, from 2000–2014 she worked as an emergency room and psychiatric social worker. She has extensive experience in inpatient psych and partial hospitalization psych programs. Ms. Cruz specializes in criminal defense mitigation, dual diagnosis, crisis intervention, addiction, trauma, and working with diverse ethnic groups.     


Ms. Cruz is a graduate of the Catholic University of America with a B.A. in psychology and received her Master of Social Work, specializing in mental health and addiction, from the University of Maryland School of School Work. In 2014 she completed an advanced two-year post-graduate Forensic Social Work Certification through the University of Maryland Continuing Education Department. In 2008 she co-created the Forensic Social Work Committee for NASW and in 2010 became the sole chair, a position she maintained until 2016 when she resigned due to other professional obligations. She continues to advocate for legislative changes. Under her leadership, the committee successfully hosted two national forensic social work conferences and advocated for various legislative bills and reform. She maintains various professional memberships and affiliations.     


Ms. Cruz is an Adjunct Professor:    

  • In 2016, Ms. Cruz joined the University of Maryland (Shady Grove) School of Social Work, teaching Advanced Trauma.    

  • In 2015, Ms. Cruz joined the Catholic University of America School of Social Work, teaching Advanced Ethics.    

Agenda & Learning Objectives


12:50 – 1:00 Log on  


1:00 – 2:00  

  • Power-point presentation (Trauma & Addiction)  

  • Case Vignettes  

  • Visual Presentation   


2:00 – 3:00 

  • Power-point Presentation (Trauma Effects)   

  • Case Vignettes  

  • Visual Presentation   


3:00 – 3:15 Break  


3:15 – 4:15pm   

  • Power-point Presentation (Co-Morbidity & Assessment)   

  • Case Vignettes  


4:15 – 5:15pm   

  • Power-point Presentation (Assessment & Treatment)   

  • Presentation Summary  

  • Questions & Answers  


5:15 Adjournment  



Upon the completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Appraise the psychological, psychosocial, and developmental effects of trauma and addiction on women.    

  • Articulate and analyze the role of trauma and how to address it in the therapeutic relationship.    

  • Summarize and express knowledge of comorbidity, including mental illness, addiction, and/or medical conditions.    

  • Examine and utilize various treatment techniques and modalities that are effective when working with this population.  

Bibliography & References


Atkins, C.  (2014).  Co-Occurring Disorders: Integrated Assessment and Treatment of Substance Use and Mental Disorder, PESI Publishing & Media. 


Boland, R. Verduin, M., & Ruiz, P. (2021).  Kaplan and Sadock’s Synopsis of Psychiatry: Behavioral Sciences/Clinical Psychiatry. Twelfth Edition, LWW. 


Botticelli, M. & Koh. H (2016) Changing the Language of Addiction, JAMA, Volume 316, Number 13 


Briere, J. and Scott, C.  (2014). Principles of trauma therapy: A guide to symptoms, evaluation, and treatment. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Pubs. 


Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2019) Fact Sheet: Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect, Children’s Bureau, 1-9. 


Cleary, M. & Thomas, P. (2017) Addiction and Mental Health Across the Lifespan: An Overview of Some Contemporary Issues, Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 38:2-8 


Dermody, Aoife. et al. (2018) Resilience in the Face of Trauma: Implications for Service Delivery, Irish Probation Journal, Volume 15  


Hien, D. et al. (2020) The “Women and Trauma” study and its national impact on advancing trauma specific approaches in community substance use treatment and research. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 112, 12-17 


Laconi, Rebecca L., "Assessing Addiction Stigma: Effects of Early Exposure to Familial Drug Abuse and 

Childhood Trauma" (2020). West Chester University Master’s Theses. 142. 


Lotzin, Annett. et al. (2019) Profiles of Childhood Trauma in Women with Substance Use Disorders and Comorbid Posttraumatic  Stress Disorder, Frontiers in Psychiatry, Volume 10, Article 674 


National Center for PTSD (2020) Behavioral Interventions for Comorbid PTSD and Substance Use Disorder, PTSD Research Quarterly, Volume 31, No. 2.  


Ringel, S. & Brandell, J. (2019). Trauma: Contemporary Directions in Trauma Theory, Research, and Practice, Second Edition, Columbia University Press.   


Scheidell, JD. et a. (2018) Childhood Traumatic Experiences and the association with Marijuana and Cocaine Use in Adolescence through Adulthood. Addiction, 113 (1) 44-56 

Course Completion & CE Information

Category I Maryland BSWE Requirement

The Office of Continuing Professional Education at the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work is authorized by the Board of Social Work Examiners in Maryland to sponsor social work continuing education programs. This workshop qualifies for {4} Category I Continuing Education Units. The Office of Continuing Professional Education is also authorized by the Maryland Board of Psychologists and the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors to sponsor Category A continuing professional education.

Please refer to the tab "Live Interactive Webinar Policies & FAQs" for UMSSW Office of CPE policies regarding all live interactive webinar related matters.

Target Audience

Social Workers, LCPCs, and Psychologists

We welcome anyone interested in the topic!


Late Fees and Refunds

The base price is $85 and includes CE credit. A non-refundable late fee of $20 is added on 03/06/24

Cancellations** must be received 24 hours in advance prior to the workshop to receive a refund or an account credit.

Late fees cannot be refunded or applied to  account credit. 

**ALL cancellations will be subjected to a $35.00 administration fee.**

Live Interactive Webinar Platforms


The Office of Continuing Professional Education hosts Live Interactive Webinars through two platforms: Zoom and WebEx.

Both platforms offer high quality and user-friendly webinar platforms for our registrants.


System Requirements:

  • Operating Systems: Windows XP or higher; MacOS 9 or higher; Android 4.0 or higher.
  • Internet Browser: Google Chrome; Firefox 10.0 or higher.

Our system is not compatible with the Safari web browser.

  • Broadband Internet Connection: Cable, High-speed DSL and any other medium that is internet accessible.

**Please have your device charging at all times to ensure that your device does not lose power during the webinar.


Course Interaction Requirements:

To participate in Live Interactive Webinars, you MUST have a device that allows you to view the presentation on screen and hear the instructor at all times. We do not allow participants to call-in from their phones or mobile devices and solely listen to the presentation. Participation in Live Interactive Webinars is mandatory.

Webinar Policies & FAQs

Click The Link to View The Webinar Policies & FAQs



ADA Accommodations

If you are requesting ADA accommodations, please contact our office via email at least two weeks prior to the workshop date. Requests after that date may not be fulfilled.  

Our email address is