Why are drug-related deaths among women increasing in Scotland? - full report

A scoping project examining potential explanations for the disproportionate rise in drug-related deaths among women.

Appendix 1. Literature search strategy.

Search undertaken by Scottish Government Library Services, as follows:

Context: Research project on the increase in drug related deaths for women in Scotland in recent years.

Question: What factors affect the risk of harms associated with problem drug use - in particular, drug-related deaths - among women compared to men?

Inclusion criteria:

  • Systematic reviews published since 2006
  • High income countries only
  • Population of interest - women who use drugs, to include problem use of prescribed or illicit drugs, but not including alcohol use in isolation
  • Comparator - men who use drugs
  • Outcomes - harms relating to problem drug use, including overdose and death

Terms used:

  • Women/female
  • Drugs/substances
  • Use/misuse/abuse/dependence
  • Death/mortality/morbidity/harms/adverse events


  • Knowledge & Evidence (KandE)
  • IDOX
  • NHS Knowledge Network
  • ProQuest
  • Web of Science


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