The Drugs, Alcohol, Women, and Families (DAWF) Collective was created in 2016 by Sharon Greenwood, Sarah Fox and Joyce Nicholson – three academics professionally committed to helping improve the lives of women and families affected by their own, or someone else’s substance use.
The Collective emerged after Sharon, Sarah, and Joyce unified over a shared frustration at the ways women, children, and families affected by substance use were frequently sidelined (or even missing!) from wider discussions on drug and alcohol use. Addiction conferences we attended typically presented the drug ‘user’ as a homogenous entity – where research discussed tended to adopt a heteronormative, ‘male-centric’ focus. Discussions about women as substance users, or as affected by someone else’s substance use, were often relegated to a single panel discussion. Whilst these studies and discussions at these events are typically well-orchestrated, interesting, and thought-provoking, it is important to note that there is also room for making the ‘invisible’ groups in these areas – such as women and families – visible.
This is where The DAWF Collective fits.