Female drug users worldwide are far less likely than their male counterparts to undergo treatment due to discrimination against mothers and pregnant women and the cost of childcare, transport and treatment, the U.N. drugs body said on Friday.

2 Jul 2015

Women with drug problems are heavily stigmatized and find it difficult to leave their homes or families for treatment, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime's (UNODC) annual World Drug Report.

Punitive attitudes toward mothers and pregnant women mean many fear losing custody of their children as a condition of treatment, and this prevents them from seeking care, the UNODC said.

"Women in particular appear to face barriers to treatment," UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said in a statement.

"While one out of three drug users globally is a woman, only one out of five drug users in treatment is a woman."

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