TopicsMental HealthUK: addiction 'shame and stigma'

UK: addiction ‘shame and stigma’

Women seeking support for drug and alcohol addiction feel stigmatised and shamed by professionals, a study has revealed.

An all-female research team conducted interviews and focus groups with volunteers in recovery and asked participants about their experiences. Questions covered barriers to support, trauma or harm caused by a service, and if they felt their needs were dubbed ‘too complex’.

The study found that many had been labelled ‘lying drug addicts’. One woman reported that she had not been believed after a police GP sexually assaulted her. Researchers also found that some professionals had misrepresented events in case notes, including legal documents.

Going forward, the authors are calling for women only addiction services and for lived-experience experts to support professionals and act as role models in recovery.

Associate Professor Sarah Page said: ‘Several public health areas have already signed up to provide a women’s only service which is a great achievement, and we hope that more across the UK will do the same.’

Image | Unsplash


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