University College Dublin: Professional Certificate in Women and Substance Use

The Professional Certificate in Women and Substance Use in the UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice

Are you working, or intending to work in substance use intervention, social care, social work nursing or public health related professions and wanting to deepen your expertise regarding a complex social issue? Looking for Continuing Professional Development opportunities?

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 course will explore current and emerging issues in relation to women and substance use, within the Irish and international context.

Increasingly issues in relation to women’s substance use, have emerged especially in relation to trauma histories, domestic violence, maternal roles and impact on family, children, yet there has been little educational response to develop practitioner and policy maker knowledge, awareness and skills to address these issues effectively.

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.

For more information, please visit: or contact Dr Sarah Morton at


UCD, Dublin 4

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