Dr April Shaw

Having worked in substance use research for over 20 years, I graduated with my PhD in Sociology from the University of Glasgow in 2021. My thesis explored mid-life and older women’s experiences of recovery from substance use with a focus on relationships, health and health treatment. I’m now taking this work forward with a one-year ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Stirling where I will be focusing on health and treatment among older women who use substances and are experiencing homelessness.

Older Female Drug Users: Negotiating Identities through Drug Use, Treatment, Recovery and Beyond


Mrs April Shaw

I have over 15 years’ experience conducting research on a range of substance use projects including a Scottish Government commissioned research project exploring the experiences of drug users and their families in relation to drug overdoses, and a European collaborative project exploring the experiences and perceptions of older drug users. More recently, I worked on two multi-disciplinary intervention studies, working with academic teams from Europe and across the UK carrying out in-depth and structured interviews with people who inject drugs (PWID) and analysing qualitative data to assess sexual and injecting risk behaviours and the social context in which these take place. Currently, I am undertaking a PhD in Sociology at the University of Glasgow. My thesis is a UK qualitative study exploring the views of older women who use drugs and their identity transitions through drug use and recovery.