International Women’s Day Message

International Women’s Day Message
By Deputy Manager NCSA – Mr. Troy Wickham
 
As we at the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) celebrate International Women’s Day 2024 under the theme ‘Inspire Inclusion’ we stand with women and girls fighting against substance use and abuse, and we commit to assisting them and their families throughout this process.
 
Locally, research has indicated that women use drugs less frequently than men. However, it is known that they develop substance use related problems more rapidly and with greater severity, experience more severe health and social consequences as a result of their substance use.
 
As a largely matriarchal society, when women are impacted by substance abuse, both directly and indirectly, reasons why and we as a society must ensure there is a safety net for those who fall victim to drug use.
One way to do this is to invest in gender specific programmes at all levels- from prevention through to treatment, rehabilitation, and maintenance of sobriety. Gender-specific programs offer multiple benefits including specialized treatment for gender-unique physiological, emotional, and relational issues.
With women-specific treatment, women are able to empower one another and build a strong support system that gives them the life skills they need to lead a successful life after recovery or when managing a family member’s addiction.
 
This must be supported with financing to build capacity at institutions that care for women and girls in the national response to substance misuse and abuse. This will assist with the diverse interventions which are necessary for the continued support of women and girls who have been negatively impacted by drug use directly or indirectly.
Women and girls abstaining from drug use and abuse can only be a plus for any society. Together, let’s take urgent action to make it a reality.