Migration has had an increasing impact on European policymaking over the past decade, in the wake of what has been called the ‘refugee migration peak’. In addition to an influx of refugees, European countries have experienced relatively new intra-European migration flows, while health and social disparities persist among populations with longer-established migration patterns.
This paper presents the available prevalence studies of illicit substance use among migrants and ethnic minorities and discusses their limitations, as well as looking at prevalence and risk factors for substance use among refugees. Two subsections focus on specific issues among non-refugee third-country nationals and Roma. Section 2 of this paper summarises risk and protective factor mechanisms in an ecosocial framework, while sections 3 and 4 are the core of this paper, and focus on social responses targeting migrant and ethnic populations in prevention, treatment and harm reduction, as well as highlighting broader responses which support these interventions. Finally, sections 5 and 6 conclude the report with a discussion of major challenges in addressing drug-related problems among these populations and examine some possible implications for policy and practice.
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This paper was commissioned by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) to provide background information to inform and contribute to the drafting of Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide.
This background paper was produced under contract CT.19.HEA.0089.1.0 and we are grateful for the valuable contribution of the author. The paper has been cited within Health and social responses to drug problems and is also being made available online for those who would like further information on the topic. However, the views, interpretations and conclusions set out in this publication are those of the author and are not necessarily those of the EMCDDA or its partners, any EU Member State or any agency or institution of the European Union.