Women in drug treatment: what the latest figures reveal

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Women in drug treatment: what the latest figures reveal.

National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse.
[UK] National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse, 2010.


National health authority responsible for promoting addiction treatment in says the data shows that women are proportionally well-represented in drug treatment programmes and that services reflect the specific needs of women and their changing patterns of drug use.

Summary There is no doubt the drug-related problems that women face can be extremely complex. Nevertheless quantitative data from 2008/09 and earlier indicates at a national level that women are proportionally well-represented in drug treatment programmes throughout England, and that services reflect the specific needs of women and their changing patterns of drug use. The number of women in structured drug treatment has remained stable over the past few years; women have made up around 25% of the total adult population in treatment for the past five years. There has been a big drop in the number of young women entering drug treatment addicted to heroin; among those under 25, the number fell by a quarter between 2005 and 2009. The number of women successfully completing treatment for their drug problems has doubled since 2005/06. Over the same period, the number dropping out of treatment has fallen by a third. While women start using drugs at a younger age than men, they are more adept at seeking help for themselves and tend to come into treatment earlier. Most women who enter treatment are mothers – 61% have children, and half of those live with their children. Parents are likely to do better in treatment than non-parents.

Last revised 14 July 2015. First uploaded 14 July 2015

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