Reports have indicated that needs of females presenting with heroin dependency problems in Northern Ireland (NI) are not being adequately addressed due to the absence of gender- specific policies and programmes. The purpose of this research was explore the intervention provisions available for Female Heroin Users (FHUs) within the South and East Belfast Health Trust (SEBT) area and to examine the positive and negative aspects of the programmes from the perspective of the providers and the female service users. This is the first qualitative study within NI that explored these issues with a specific gender focus. This paper firstly introduces the background to the research, followed by an elaboration of the qualitative methodology used. Attention then turns to three key findings which directly relate to the ability of the providers' to reduce the fears of FHUs about engagement and the ability to meet immediate and continuing needs from the perspective of the providers and the FHUs. The paper concludes by making recommendations for improvement which are all interrelated to the need for more research within this area, accompanied by recognition and financial commitment from the Government and Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) to enable providers to develop services which meet the women's full range of treatments and support needs.
|Title of host publication||Quest, QUB AHSS Conference|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jun 2008|