1. Equitable substance use treatment for migrants, refugees and ethnic minorities: An emerging research domain

Wednesday, 23 November, 2022 - 13:20 to 14:50
Insights zone 4 (I4)

Abstract

Migration has become a central theme of European policymaking in the past decade. Nevertheless, very little attention has been paid to migrants and ethnic minorities (MEM) in European health and drug policies. Moreover, targeted, evidence-based practices remain limited.

A multi-faceted strategy was used to identify drug related practices targeting MEM: an online survey of member states (April 2019), a screening of review studies, the EDDRA database, the 2014 Reitox national drug reports and the 2019 EMCDDA national monitoring data.

A total of 121 practices were identified, of which 55 % were aimed at prevention (and early/brief intervention), treatment and harm reduction for MEM. Most of these responses were located in the prevention and harm reduction domains and, in contrast, the number of targeted treatment responses was limited. 45 % of the practices aimed to fulfil the (pre)requisites of successful drugrelated responses: social (re)integration, access to health services and health screening among refugees, organisational competency and training, translation and mediation services, and targeted mental health services and methods.

In Europe, it is key to focus on screening, brief and early intervention strategies for refugees and targeted treatment and harm reduction for these and broader MEM populations. Full access to health services, social (re)integration strategies and trauma-informed mental health care methods are also key components, as are strengthening generic services’ accessibility, organisational competence and language facilities. Moreover, cross-sectional prevalence studies that include intersectional analysis of population characteristics will be key to understanding and acting upon the aetiology of substance use.

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