Men are more likely than women to become addicts. However, nearly 30% of those now in touch with services are women. This presents a real challenge for interpreting evidence, developing policy or designing services for women with addictions.  The 7th Annual Manchester Women’s Conference aims to develop understanding needed to create services that can address the specific needs of women with addiction.

Until the early 1990s, most research on substance misuse and dependence focused on men; as funding agencies began to require more women to be enrolled in studies, this began to change. However, traditional addiction treatment programs were developed based on research in men.  We now know that there are important gender differences in prevalence, trends and patterns of addiction.

Women may progress to dependence more quickly and develop medical and social consequences of addiction faster than men. Women maybe more susceptible to relapse and present later to services, possibly because they are more likely to be parents and have children living with them. Women may therefore be reluctant to come forward and enter treatment programmes through fear of losing their children. 

There is a pressing need to develop research and ideas about what works best for women and in which circumstances. The conference is organised over two days.

Day One considers the implications of current evidence for women with addictions through presentations and panel discussion. Day Two showcases models of service delivery in a series of parallel workshops.

Topics

Topics will include:

  • Policy context
  • The science of addiction
  • Addiction in pregnancy
  • Addictions and mental illness
  • Women and gambling
  • Effective interventions
  • Models of service delivery
  • NHS Evidence and NICE Guidance