NCSA supports gender-specific intervention in fighting drug abuse

The National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) is reiterating the need for women-centred treatment for those fighting drug use. 

Deputy General Manager of the NCSA, Troy Wickham, in recognition of International Women's Day, highlighted the importance of gender-specific treatment, where women are the centre of families and communities.

"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.

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 specialised treatment for gender-unique physiological, emotional, and relational issues."

He indicated that women who use drugs are more likely to face serious ramifications, thus building a 'safety net' for those battling drug abuse was key. 

"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," Wickham stated. 

The NCSA deputy manager added that with women-specific treatment, women were equipped to help each other on the journey of recovery. 

"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," Wickham continued, while calling upon the public to take action and make this a reality.