Researchers to address drug use among women at International Women’s and Children’s Health and Gender Group Conference

June 6, 2014

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO— Leading researchers will address drug use and substance abuse among women worldwide at the 7th International Women’s and Children’s Health and Gender Group Conference. RTI International is co-sponsoring the conference held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 13.

“The conference has been the only of its kind to focus on women internationally who use and abuse substances, which brings together scientists, clinicians, and trainees from diverse backgrounds and cultures for not only knowledge exchange but development of future collaborations,” said Wendee Wechsberg, Ph.D., director of the RTI Global Gender Center and substance abuse treatment evaluations and interventions at RTI, and conference chairwoman. “We leave with excitement and energy to tackle problems.”

Sessions will highlight emerging issues concerning addiction to licit drugs during pregnancy, and global perspectives on women and addiction. Researchers will discuss topics including global prescription drug abuse among pregnant women; fetal and neonatal effects of cigarette smoking and alcohol use during pregnancy; and gender differences and perceptions of drug use.

The conference will feature a poster session and cultural events, and include internationally known researchers and attendees from 38 countries.

RTI recently formed the RTI Global Gender Center to bring together experts across several disciplines to improve knowledge, policies, and programs worldwide to reduce gender inequities and disparities. RTI has led more than 40 projects with gender-specific activities throughout the world.

The International Women’s and Children’s Health and Gender Group is a multidisciplinary forum that addresses the consequences of substance abuse. Members form collaborations and identify research opportunities, while maintaining sensitivity to family, culture and equity within an international context.

Health & Wellness


Wendee Wechsberg

“We must listen to the communities, the local people, to understand culturally what is going to fit and what is going to be the language of the research, and not just say we know what to do here.”