Young Women and Drug Use

Youth RISE and Women and Harm Reduction International Network published a position paper and recommendations developed by a working group of 10 women drawn from the membership of YouthRISE and WHRIN, based in 10 different countries across the Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia and Oceania.

This paper sets out the core issues and recommendations relating specifically to young women who use drugs. Young women and girls who are affected by punitive drug policy face unique age-related as well as gender-specific risks, barriers and rights violations that are not well recognized or responded to by policymakers or service providers. These intersectional inequities are particularly evident when facing societal expectations, when accessing harm reduction and health care services including sexual and reproductive health services, when navigating the illicit drug market and when in contact with the criminal justice system.

Globally, evidence shows that a major barrier to young women’s access to health, including harm reduction services, sexual and reproductive health care services and HIV testing and care, is associated with age-restrictions and informed consent in service provision. While age restrictions impact all young people who use drugs, women are particularly affected by any limited access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services.

To read the paper, follow this link>>>.