2018 was the centenary of (at least some) women’s suffrage, and the 20 years’ anniversary of an SSA annual conference where all the speakers were women. To mark these events, the Society commissioned a Women in Addiction project with the aim of celebrating the achievements of women in Addiction research.
Women have been influencing the direction of addiction science, significantly developing theory and evidence, for over a century. Mary Scharleib qualified in medicine in 1879 at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson’s London School of Medicine for Women, and is best known for her work in professionalising women’s medicine. From 1912 – 1916 she was also the first woman President of the SSA. Moving on through the 1900s women such as Marty Mann and Marie Nyswander were pioneers in Alcoholics Anonymous and methadone maintenance respectively. Today there are a whole host of women who contribute to the Addiction field, both established and rising up through the ranks, and their work has impacted thousands of lives.
With this in mind, Drs Sharon Cox of London South Bank University and Sally Marlow of King’s College London, came together to make a series of short films highlighting just some of the stories behind some of these women, taking inspiration from the past and the present, and looking towards the future. We are proud to present the first of those films here. The project is still a work in progress, and there are more films in various stages of production and post production.