Women and substance use disorders in low- and middle-income countries: A call for advancing research equity in prevention and treatment

Ilze Slabbert, M. Claire Greene, Jacqueline S. Womersley, Oladiran I. Olateju, Matiwos Soboka, Andrine M. Lemieux

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Abstract

Although the prevalence of substance use disorders (SUDs) is higher among men, women with SUDs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) face unique challenges. Poverty and adversity, inequality of women, and disparities in access to treatment and prevention services exacerbate biological, psychological and social correlates of substance use disorders for women living in low-resource settings. Increasing the inclusion of women in research has long been a goal, though even high income countries struggle to achieve parity. In LMICs, women with SUDs are often neglected from global research due to underreporting and the disproportionate focus of global substance use research on men. We will discuss risk factors for SUDs that are particularly relevant for women residing in LMICs in order to gain insight into neglected areas of research and opportunities for prevention and treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages5
JournalSubstance Abuse
Early online dateNov 7 2019
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - Nov 7 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This review did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. MCG is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse [T32DA007292] and the National Institute of Mental Health [T32MH096724]. JSW is supported by the South African Research Chair in PTSD from the Department of Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation.

Keywords

  • Addiction
  • gender
  • health equity
  • low- and middle-income countries
  • substance use disorders
  • women

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