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Gender and recovery pathways in the UKRecovery is now the defining feature of UK drug and alcohol policy. Despite this policy emphasis, little attention has been paid to the lived experience of those in recovery. Instead, research has typically concentrated on treatment populations, which are predominantly male. Consequently, we have little insight into recovery experiences in general, and specifically how they might differ for females and males. This article makes an important contribution through offering a unique insight into the addiction/recovery pathways of 342 female and 410 male participants using data gathered via the UK Life in Recovery survey. Participants were recruited via social media and recovery groups. Bivariate analyses were used to explore gender differences in relation to personal characteristics, addiction and recovery (self-defined), well-being, and family life. These data suggest that a greater proportion of females in recovery report having specific needs in relation to mental health and relationships with children or partners whilst a greater proportion of males disclosed having specific needs in relation to physical health. Whilst the findings reflect the importance of ongoing support for everyone in recovery, they also suggest the need to provide gender-responsive recovery support.
Navigating drugs at university: normalization, differentiation & drift?Whilst drug use appears to be common amongst university students, this study moved beyond mere drug prevalence, and for the first time in the UK, used the 6 dimensions of normalisation to better understand the role and place drugs play in the lives of university students. 512 students completed a Student Lifestyle Survey. A differentiated normalisation is occurring amongst different student groups; the social supply of drugs is common, and some users are ‘drifting’ into supply roles yet such acts are neutralized. Students are ‘drug literate’ and have to navigate drugs, and their consumption, availability and marketing, as part of their everyday student life. Student drug use is not homogenous and very little is known about the nuances and diversity of their use/non-use beyond prevalence data. Qualitative studies are needed to better understand the processes of differentiated normalisation and social supply. This is the first study in the UK to use the six dimensions of normalisation amongst a sample of university students