Women using drugs and alcohol can feel stigmatized and shamed when seeking support from professional services, a new study has found.
The research is based on the experiences of women using community drug and alcohol treatment services across the West Midlands, as well as professionals in the field.
Sarah Page, Associate Professor in Social Justice and Social Learning at Staffordshire University, said that “whilst there are pockets of great practice, there are also times when the words and actions of professionals across drug and alcohol services, health and mental health, social work and the criminal justice sector can leave women feeling failed.
“We found that women very much experience the stigma of the ‘lying drug addict’ and as a result, they’re constantly having to prove themselves. This can create significant social and emotional harm to the individual.”