Last week was the one where the world commemorated World Drug Day.

The theme for this year’s commemoration is, “People first: stop stigma and discrimination, strengthen prevention”.


Photo credit: ISSUP via UNODC


It was on the same day that the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime released this year’s report on Drugs.

A few things in there caught my attention but most of all, it was the women who suffer from drug use disorders and are stigmatized from getting the care and treatment that they really need!


Photo credit: UNODC


Listen to these statements out:

  1. “Women who use drugs tend to develop drug use disorders faster than men, yet they continue to be underrepresented in drug treatment”. – UNODC, 2023.
  2. In 2021, the number of women in treatment across 5 continents was 37% for Oceania, 34% for America, 17% for Europe, 9% for Africa and 3% for Asia!


Photo credit: Hammocks Recovery


  1. “Women account for almost half the people who use amphetamine-type stimulants, but only 27 per cent of those receiving treatment”. – UNODC, 2023.
  2. “Women constituted approximately 30 per cent of all those who died from an over-dose and of those attributed to opioids in the United States”. – UNODC, 2023.


Photo credit: Vajiram IAS


  1. Barriers in accessing treatment are multiple but women are most affected.


Photo credit: The New York Times


  1. “As is the case with the use of drugs, there are more men than women injecting drugs. Men are 5 times more likely than women to inject drugs (based on limited data from 18 countries), whereas women who inject drugs are 1.2 times more likely than men to be living with HIV (based on data from 58 countries)”. – UNODC, 2023.
  2. “The number of people who suffer from drug use disorders has skyrocketed to 39.5 million– a 48% increase over 10 years”. – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2023.
  3. Youth populations are the most vulnerable to drug use and are also more severely affected by substance use disorders in several regions. In Africa, 70% of people in treatment are under the age of 35.


Statement number 5 spoke of barriers.

Do you remember when we spoke of this particular barrier?

I believe it’s the biggest barrier to women receiving the care and treatment they need, to live their lives better!


Photo credit: The Economist


The good thing is, we know exactly what to do to take down that barrier!

In my opinion, once we take down that barrier, women and families whose lives have been shattered by drug abuse will be so much better since they will be getting the care they truly need and deserve!


Photo credit: The Guardian


I throw this question to you now.

What can you do, to make sure this group of women’s lives better?