Different needs: women's drug use and treatment in the UK

Int J Drug Policy. 2008 Apr;19(2):169-75. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2007.11.021. Epub 2007 Dec 21.


The experiences of female drug users are often very different from that of their male counterparts. Female, and especially pregnant, drug users suffer greater social stigma than men, and often suffer a greater severity of addiction with physical and psychological reactions. This paper explores how women's experience of drug use differs from men, and the implication that this has for delivering drug treatment and drug services in the UK, including in the prison setting. It is argued that drug services in the UK need to be better tailored to meet the specific needs of women.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility / standards*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Prisons / organization & administration
  • Sex Factors
  • Stereotyping
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers / standards
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Women's Health Services / organization & administration
  • Women's Health Services / standards*