Drug use among women key focus at International Women’s and Children’s Health and Gender Group Conference

PHOENIX, ARIZONA— The 8th International Women's and Children's Health and Gender Group Conference will focus on illicit drug use in reproductive health throughout the lifespan and among young women and adolescents.

The conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, June 12 at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona. Walk-in registrations are welcome the day of the conference.

Other discussion topics include reproductive health needs of women with substance use disorders, improving contraceptive use among opioid-maintained women, drug use and HIV risk among young South African women, and adolescent women's equalizing use rates of alcohol and other drugs in Mexico. Internationally known researchers from over 15 countries will speak at the conference.

"We are so pleased again to have diverse speakers this year from around the world to address these critical issues affecting women and adolescents," said Wendee Wechsberg, PhD., Conference Chair, Director of the RTI Global Gender Center, and Director of RTI's Substance Abuse Treatment Evaluations and Interventions Research Program. Wechsberg added that "we are particularly excited about having some of the next generation of investigators from numerous countries present their innovative research."

The International Women's and Children's Health and Gender Group is a multidisciplinary forum that examines the consequences of substance use as well as the stigmatizing, hidden and other contextual issues surrounding substance use. Members work collaboratively to identify research opportunities that incorporate a sensitivity to family, culture, and equity within an international context.

RTI International—an independent, nonprofit research institute—is cosponsoring the conference. RTI is highly committed to global gender issues, with more than 500 gender-specific projects in the past five years in over 75 countries. In addition, the RTI Global Gender Center brings together experts across multiple disciplines to improve knowledge, policies, and programs worldwide to reduce gender inequities and disparities.

The conference is also supported by the University of Arizona-Southwest Institute for Research on Women, a regional research institute with a focus on gender, health disparities, legal issues, and innovations in education.