Purpose: Literature suggests that there are gender specific biopsychosocial factors contributing to women developing addiction, therefore treatment should be tailored to their needs. Does this though mean that the service should be women only?
The purpose was to evaluate the experience of women in opioid replacement treatment, attending a women- only service and to explore the above dilemma.
Methodology: This was a qualitative study with data collected through structured interviews. Interviews were voice recorded and transcribed.
Findings: Most women found the service useful and felt their needs were met. The quality though of the therapeutic relationship with the key worker seemed to be the most important factor. The majority preferred the separate location of the service as it was felt safer and the links with other services focusing on women’s needs. Some women feared being judged by others if the service were to be moved to a primary care site.
Conclusion: Given the limitation of the qualitative design and the small sample, our findings support previous literature on the importance of a safe environment and links with other women focused services. It was felt though that this does not necessarily have to be provided within a women only service.