Women and drugs - mental health lecturer to feature in Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4

Posted on 27 November 2017

Ian Hamilton, mental health lecturer in the Department, has recently been looking at the issue around women and drugs.

Ian Hamilton, mental health lecturer in the Department, has recently been looking at the issue around women and drugs.

Problems with drugs are often thought to be almost exclusively a male problem. More men use drugs generally, there are more men in specialist treatment and unfortunately more men die as a result of drug use. However, women have different reasons for using drugs and the problems they develop as a result are often less visible. Three distinct factors play an important role in women's use of drugs:

1. The journey from first drug use to dependence is more rapid for women a phenomenon known as 'telescoping'.

2. Women are more likely to source drugs from a male partner and as a result be reliant on this partner when they become dependent on drugs.

3. Women who use drugs are at greater risk of trauma as a result of intimate partner violence and abuse.

Ian says: “Compounding this is a lack of research into women's drug use and a lack of female researchers investigating the issue and both these aspects were recently acknowledged in an editorial piece in the Journal of Addiction.”

"Woman's Hour will discuss what we currently know, what needs to be done and hear from women who have experienced problems with drugs."

The programme will feature Ian and will be live on Tuesday 28th November 2017, at 10am.

Link to Woman's hour - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007qlvb.

Ian has also written a piece about this subject for The Conversation. Read the article at https://theconversation.com/women-also-use-drugs-not-that-you-can-tell-from-drug-policy-87957.