Pain, Instability, and Familial Discord: a Qualitative Study into Women who Use Drugs in Malaysia

Only 143 women who use drugs (WWUD) were detected in Malaysia in 2013 compared to 7721 males. The hidden nature of WWUD and the inadequate interventions for them make it difficult to access this population. WWUD face more stigma than men who use drugs because their drug use is seen as contravening the natural roles of women in society, i.e., as “mothers, the anchors of their families, and caretakers”. Women experience addiction and its contributing factors differently than men, and that they have unique needs; for example, those related to sexual and physical violence and pregnancy care.

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