Studies on gender and drugs have been an underdeveloped and diffuse field of health research in which little work has been done so far. The text presented here aims to show the research from an anthropological perspective on an Action Support Group among drug-dependent women, using qualitative techniques to highlight biographical aspects and relationships with substances that allow us to highlight gender differences and inequalities in relation to health care.
The applied qualitative research has focused on the knowledge of aspects and meanings about the processes of health/illness/care and drug use, the search for elements that allow us to evaluate and improve the functioning of the group itself and finally specific aspects from a gender perspective. For this purpose, 8 semi-structured in-depth interviews and 2 group interviews were carried out.
Some of the main results have been that social and structural factors are as or more influential in the problem of psychoactive substance use than the substances themselves or the individual characteristics of the users, with the confluence of the three factors being the starting point of our work. The confirmation of the double stigma; one for breaking traditional gender roles and the other for being illegal drug users, the great influence of relationships with male partners linked to problematic drug use and the confirmation that the Support Groups can introduce significant improvements in the quality of life of the participants, are some of the most outstanding results.