SPOL40850 Women and Substance Use

Academic Year 2023/2024

Problematic substance use continues to be a major social issue within society, with increases in consumption and use of drugs, increases in drug related deaths and increases in dependency on existing and emerging substances. International and national drug policy is also heavily contested, with pressure to develop harm reduction based policy rather than the more punitive and abstinence based approach. This module will explore current and emerging issues in relation to women and substance use, within the Irish and international context. Women’s problematic substance use is explored in the context of the inter-related and sometimes unique factors that may impact on women’s substance use trajectories, with a particular focus on effective intervention, and innovation in practice and policy responses. The role and impact of intimate partner violence, sex working, trauma histories and pregnancy and mothering on women’s substance use are considered and explored. The development and provision of innovative responses and interventions are presented, together with the implications for drug and social policy.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Consider women’s problematic substance use within the wider frame of drug use, community and society.
2. Critically reflect on the issues that inter-relate and impact on women and problematic substance use such as trauma histories, domestic violence, sex working and pregnancy and mothering.
3. Understand the complexity of effectively responding to women’s problematic substance use, including the barriers, challenges and innovation in practice and intervention.
4. Demonstrate knowledge of emerging debates in regard to policy and practice in relation to women and problematic substance use.
5. Explore, understand and plan interventions that would address the issues that inter-related with women’s problematic substance use.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Autonomous Student Learning


Online Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Reflective writing; discussion based learning; integration of practice and theory/concepts 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: < Description > Unspecified n/a Graded No


Essay: < Description > Unspecified n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Seminar Offering 1 Week(s) - 10 Thurs 18:00 - 19:50