Skip to main content

Research report: "A system designed for women?"

A system designed for women?

Understanding the barriers women face in accessing drug treatment and support services. (Full report)

With You, November 2021

This report explores the type of support available to women who use drugs, their experiences of treatment and ultimately, how services can be improved to support these women.

The research draws on interviews with women who have accessed drug treatment services, roundtable discussions with frontline staff, a survey of relevant third sector organisations, interviews with experts in the drug treatment field and Freedom of Information Act requests to local authorities to understand the nature of service provision in their locality.

The report argues that drug-related problems unique to women have received insufficient attention in research and that women are held back from getting support by a system that often lacks the capacity and flexibility to cater for their needs. It sets out a series of recommendations for services, commissioners and policymakers to create more accessible and welcoming environments for women.