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Highs and Lows
Highs and Lows
Canadian Perspectives of Women and Substance Use
Nancy Poole and Lorraine Greaves (editors)
Price: $49.95 CAD each
Book | ISBN 978-0-88868-534-6 | 542 pages | Published: 2007 | English | Product Code: PG123

Developed through a partnership between the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Women’s and girls’ substance use is now recognized as an important health, economic and social issue in Canada. However, most books about alcohol and other drug use do not address the unique needs and circumstances of this population.

Highs & Lows draws on the latest theory and research to offer strategies for improving practice and developing policy to support women with substance use problems. This unique book includes contributions from nearly 100 experts on women’s substance use, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, clinical therapists, health promoters, academics, alternative health care providers, women’s health advocates — and women who have personally been affected by substance use.

The book includes in-depth chapters on:

  • the interconnection of trauma, mental health andsubstance use problems for women
  • pregnancy, mothering and substance use
  • innovative treatment, harm reduction and prevention programs designed with women’s needs in mind
  • challenges and opportunities for improved research, treatment and policy development.

Highs & Lows also includes:

  • snapshots of the latest in women-centred research, treatment and policy innovations
  • statistics on women’s substance use in Canada
  • women’s personal narratives of their experiences of substance use problems.

Highs & Lows is a valuable resource for program developers and administrators, researchers and policy makers, therapists and counsellors, and educators and students. It is an ideal choice as a course text on this topic.


"This text is testament to the leadership and focus that the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health has brought to understanding substance use among women and girls in Canada over the past decade and that the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has brought to developing authoritative information resources for those who work with people with substance use problems.” Michel Perron Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

"This important and paradigm changing book articulates the gendered influences on girl’s and women’s substance use and abuse as well as the programmatic and policy changes necessary to improve addiction services for girls and women. Nancy Poole and Lorraine Greaves are leaders in demonstrating the complex and varied interconnections between women’s and girl’s substance use, mental health problems and histories of violence/trauma, which point to the need for significant shifts in practice, policy and research. To help support this understanding the book commendably includes the voices of women with substance use problems, along with service providers, clinicians, and policy makers." Norma Finkelstein, Ph.D. Executive Director, Institute for Health and Recovery

"AWARE has engaged in many collaborations with Nancy Poole, Lorraine Greaves and the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women's Health because of their commitment to valuing the expertise of all those with an interest in women’s substance use including, most importantly, women with substance use problems. This book exemplifies their approach to valuing both evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence." Wendy Reynolds Action on Women's Addictions-Research and Education (AWARE) Kingston, Ontario

"The issue of women and substance use is causing increasing concern all over the world. This timely book contains not only up-to-date scientific evidence but also the stories of the women themselves. This book is a real and substantial addition to the literature." Moira Plant, PhD Professor of Alcohol Studies, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK

"As a hospital-based clinician, it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to contribute to the articulation of promising practices in the treatment of women with substance use problems. This book offers particularly valuable views of the integrated and harm reducing approaches to treating women with mental health, trauma-related and substance problems that we have implemented in hospital and community settings over the past decade in Canada." Peter Selby, MBBS, CCFP, MHSc, FASAM, Clinical Director, Addictions Program, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health