About the meeting 

Over the years, the overall picture of the epidemiology of drug use shows gender disparities, with approximately 75-80% of drug users being males, and 20-25% being females. However these disparities remain poorly understood, especially their evolution in recent years. Furthermore, some of the disparities noted are not necessarily widespread in all countries, so an understanding of national situations and contexts is extremely important.

On 24 November, the EMCDDA will be organising, for the first time, a meeting dedicated to the topic of Women and drugs. The event will share knowledge and experience from the participating countries on the implications of gender for drug use and drug treatment, in order to identify the potential needs and opportunities for monitoring and research, explore how this knowledge could be used to inform national decision-makers and how it could feed the planning and organisation of services.

The meeting brings together 8 researchers and participants from 40 different countries. The purpose of this annual event is to broaden the scope of regular Reitox meetings, underline the importance of the EU drug monitoring model and add impetus to the agency’s technical cooperation with countries outside the EU.

The meeting will lay the foundations for an EMCDDA meeting report.


These will be made available here after the meeting.

Opening and welcome address by Wolfgang Götz, EMCDDA Director

Session I – Women and drug use

Chair: Cécile Martel and Paul Griffiths
Commentator: Joakim Strandberg, Sweden

Welcome address by Alexis Goosdeel, EMCDDA

  • Overview of gender-related data on drug use in the EU
    Linda Montanari, EMCDDA
  • Executive women under the influence: gender differences in drug use in France, a matter of social status?
    François Beck, France
  • Is research on drugs related problems applicable to women?
    Marica Ferri, EMCDDA

Session II – Women and drug treatment

Chairs: Martta Forsell, Finland and Linda Montanari, EMCDDA
Commentator: Aleksandar Tomcuk, Montenegro

  • The gender dimension of prescription drug use and non medical use of prescription drugs in Europe and the Mediterranean
    Marilyn Clark, Malta with commentary by Elisabetta Simeoni, Italy
  • Pregnancy, treatment, OST debate: what’s new about women using drugs?
    Edle Ravndal, Norway
  • Malva Project: women, drugs and violence. A specific approach in prevention and treatment
    Mercè Martí, Malva Project, Spain

Session III – Women and harm reduction

Chairs: Marion Weigl, Austria and Ilze Jekabsone, EMCDDA
Commentator: Fatima Elomari, Morocco

  • Challenges for access to drug and HIV treatment for women using drugs
    Anda Kivite, Latvia
  • Integrating gender specific services to harm reduction programmes: situation and way forward in the MENA Region
    Elie Aaraj, Lebanon

Session IV – Implications for monitoring and practice

Chairs: Marica Ferri and Jane Mounteney, EMCDDA

  • Panel discussion

Conclusions and closure

Cécile Martel and Alexis Goosdeel, EMCDDA

Read more about the event at the EMCDDA website.

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Thumbnail: Flickr CC EMCDDA