There is limited data on the experiences and needs of women who use drugs in Malaysia. Research elsewhere has shown that women who use drugs face increased increased risks of HIV transmission, higher levels of stigma compared to men who use drugs, high levels of intimate partner violence, and mental illness.
Women who use drugs face more stigma than men who use drugs because their drug use is seen as contravening the natural roles of women in society i.e. mothers, the anchors of their families, and “caretakers”. They are perceived to be bad women and bad mothers, and this has in some societies resulted in an unjustifiable ‘moral panic’. This moral panic often results in women who use drugs having their children removed from them, either by social services or by relatives.