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dc.contributor.authorThomas, Natalie
dc.contributor.authorBull, Melissa
dc.description.abstractContemporary research in the drugs field has demonstrated a number of gender differences in patterns and experiences of substance use, and the design and provision of gender-responsive interventions has been identified as an important policy issue. Consequently, whether and how domestic drug policies attend to women and gender issues is an important question for investigation. This article presents a policy audit and critical analysis of Australian national and state and territory policy documents. It identifies and discusses two key styles of problematisation of women’s drug use in policy: 1) drug use and its effect on women’s reproductive role (including a focus on pregnant women and women who are mothers), and 2) drug use and its relationship to women’s vulnerability to harm (including violent and sexual victimisation, trauma, and mental health issues). Whilst these are important areas for policy to address, we argue that such representations of women who use drugs tend to reinforce particular understandings of women and drug use, while at the same time contributing to areas of ‘policy silence’ or neglect. In particular, the policy documents analysed are largely silent about the harm reduction needs of all women, as well as the needs of women who are not mothers, young women, older women, transwomen or other women deemed to be outside of dominant normative reproductive discourse. This analysis is important because understanding how women’s drug use is problematised and identifying areas of policy silence provides a foundation for redressing gaps in policy, and for assessing the likely effectiveness of current and future policy approaches.
dc.relation.ispartofjournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
dc.subject.fieldofresearchStudies in Human Society not elsewhere classified
dc.subject.fieldofresearchMedical and Health Sciences
dc.subject.fieldofresearchStudies in Human Society
dc.subject.fieldofresearchPsychology and Cognitive Sciences
dc.titleRepresentations of women and drug use in policy: A critical policy analysis
dc.typeJournal article
dc.type.descriptionC1 - Articles
dc.type.codeC - Journal Articles
gro.facultyArts, Education & Law Group, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
gro.hasfulltextNo Full Text
gro.griffith.authorBull, Melissa
gro.griffith.authorThomas, Natalie

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