Women Still Do Not Get the Drug Treatment Services They Need.
Globally, approximately one-third of all people who use drugs are women. In spite of this the needs, interests and voices of women who use drugs are consistently neglected. They are often sidelined when it comes to policies, programming and harm reduction services. Women experience far greater stigma and discrimination, as they are often perceived as not ‘good women’ this in turn keeps them away from essential health and social services. It is rare for services to be integrated with sexual and reproductive health and other social support services.
From the poor data available a highly disproportionate percentage of women are being punished. In the USA two-thirds of women in federal prison are there for nonviolent drug offences, and the vast majority of them have children. This brings about a system where women who are responsible for childrearing are too readily separated from their children, temporarily or permanently.
The latest edition of IDHDP News examines what is happening to women and offers some thoughts on how to overcome this completely unacceptable situation.