|Migrants, Displaced People and Drug Abuse: A Public Health Challenge (International Center for Migration and Health - ICMH, 1998, 60 pages)|
Contract Number SOC 96 201027
The goal of the project is to reduce the risk of drug abuse in migrant communities and among displaced people. It seeks to facilitate drug prevention by people in migrant and/or displaced communities themselves. The following cities participated in the project: Athens (GR), Antwerp (B), Arnhem (NL) Arhus (DK), Barcelona (E), Rome (I) and Roubaix (F). A mix of research approaches was taken in the pilot study involving both quantitative (KABP) and qualitative (Focus Groups) methods, that were developed or adapted specifically for this project.
The pilot study has highlighted a number of issues that now need to be taken up at greater length and in more detail. It has identified a number of key factors that appear to be contributing to the risk of drug abuse. It has also pointed to a number of issues which drug abuse prevention campaigns should address, and has begun to throw much needed light on the feasibility of community-based monitoring of drug abuse in migrant communities. Finally, it has paved the way for a series of recommendations for public health and social support policy.
Many of the migrants recruited into the pilot study appear to be in life-situations where they have been offered drugs at least on one occasion, and where almost half report they have used drugs. The findings indicate that drug abuse among migrants in the EU must be taken seriously, and prevention strategies should include the participation of migrants themselves if prevention is to be effective. The study has also identified potential avenues for intervention or strategic action. These include:
· national policies that include specific elements on drug abuse in migrants and refugees
· health promoting environments that seek to strengthen and support locally-based programmes for the prevention of drug abuse
· community health care that takes into account the cultural and psychosocial dynamics of health care service utilisation, and addresses specially vulnerable people such as women and adolescents, within migrant groups
· social welfare and criminal justice systems that out reach and become actively involved in community education and prevention of alcohol and other drug related deviance
· school-based interventions that introduce drug abuse prevention and early warning through the mechanism of normative education
· social marketing and media campaigns that are specifically tailored to the characteristics and needs of migrant cultures and communities.
· more assessment of national and EU level situations is called for, including the feasibility of creating a European-wide database on migrant drug abuse.