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Home > Women & substance misuse: drug misuse and women’s health in Ireland.

Women's Health Council. (2009) Women & substance misuse: drug misuse and women’s health in Ireland. Dublin: Women's Health Council.

PDF (Drug Misuse and Women’s Health in Ireland) - Published Version

Women have played an important role in highlighting the issues around the misuse of illegal drugs in this country. During the 1990s in Dublin’s disadvantaged inner city areas women organised direct action campaigns and anti-drug sarches, which prompted government action to tackle the drugs problem (Murphy-Lawless, 2002). Although women were the ones to take action on the area, at a societal level, drug misuse is a larger problem among men than women. A detailed look at the issue reveals a more complicated picture, however, in which the prevalence of drug use and related health and social consequences differ greatly between the sexes. In addition, changing patterns of drug misuse among young people mean that drug misuse may be becoming a larger problem for women than it has been traditionally.

The Women’s Health Council, in line with its statutory instrument, has focused on the area of women and drug misuse in order to investigate current trends, examine the particular circumstances that lead to and result from drug misuse among women, and draw out the particular effects of drug misuse on women’s health and well-being. The paper will examine the misuse of both legal and illicit drugs. The Council envisages that it will be of interest to policy and strategy makers, as well as health service providers and those with an interest in women’s health.

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