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Title [sv]
Urbana drogscener som riskmiljöer – hur intervenerar polisen och sociala välfärdsinstitutioner och hur påverkar det narkotikaanvändare?
Title [en]
Urban drug scenes as risk environments - how do the police and social welfare institutions intervene and how are problem drug users affected?
Abstract [sv]

Om projektet

Personer som missbrukar eller injicerar illegala droger utgör en utsatt grupp i samhället. De upplever ofta betydande problem relaterade till fysisk och psykisk ohälsa, social och ekonomisk situation och gruppen som helhet har en förhöjd dödlighet. I de flesta europeiska storstäder finns platser där narkotika säljs och används öppet. Dessa öppna drogscener förknippas med kriminalitet och våld och ses ofta som störande av de som bor i närområdet. Samtidigt utgör de möjliga arenor för preventivt och hälsofrämjande arbete eftersom de fungerar som sociala arenor för personer med problematisk droganvändning.

Detta projekt är ett forskningssamarbete som bygger vidare på etnografisk forskning från Danmark och Norge om lokala insatser mot öppna urbana drogscener och om balansen mellan folkhälsoinsatser och upprätthållande av allmän ordning. Motsvarande forskning saknas i Sverige. Med etnografiska metoder kommer vi att studera vardagsliv, social utsatthet, sårbarhet och hälsomässiga risker för personer med problematisk narkotikaanvändning som uppehåller sig på öppna drogscener i Malmö. Vi ämnar även studera de lokala insatserna från polis och socialtjänst på dessa arenor. Malmö, Köpenhamn och Bergen används som tre fall, med syftet att utveckla ett teoretiskt ramverk om hur drogscener hanteras inom sociala välfärdsstater, och vilka konsekvenser olika narkotikapolitiska inriktningar har för personer som använder narkotika.

Abstract [en]

About the project

Persons who frequently use or inject illegal drugs constitute a vulnerable group in society. They experience significant problems related to physical and psychological health and to their social and financial situations. Moreover, the group has a high mortality rate. In most large cities in Europe there are public spaces where drugs are sold and used openly. Such open drug scenes are associated with criminality and violence and are often seen as nuisances by the public. However, open drug scenes can also be viewed as potential arenas for prevention efforts and harm reduction measures from social welfare institutions, since they constitute social spaces for people who use drugs.

This project is collaborative and builds upon ethnographic research conducted in Denmark and Norway about local responses to open drug scenes in relation to the need to balance public health and public order. Equivalent research in Sweden is lacking. The research project will use ethnographic methods to study everyday lives, social marginalization, vulnerability and health-related risks of problem drug users who frequent urban drug scenes in Malmö. It will also consider how local police and social welfare services intervene in drug scenes. The project will use the three cases of Malmö, Copenhagen and Bergen to develop a theoretical framework for understanding how drug scenes are targeted within social welfare settings and the consequences diverging policy approaches have for problem drug users.

Publications (4 of 4) Show all publications
Nordgren, J. & Richert, T. (2024). ‘A free position in midfield' – a qualitative study of faith-based social work with people who use drugs in Sweden. European Journal of Social Work, 27(2), 401-412
Open this publication in new window or tab >>‘A free position in midfield' – a qualitative study of faith-based social work with people who use drugs in Sweden
2024 (English)In: European Journal of Social Work, ISSN 1369-1457, E-ISSN 1468-2664, Vol. 27, no 2, p. 401-412Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Many faith-based organisations (FBOs) provide social work services to marginalised groups in need of care such as people who use drugs (PWUD), but little is known about how diaconal or faith-based social work with PWUD is carried out and how staff view their work. The aim of this study was to explore how social work with PWUD within FBOs in Sweden is conducted. This study is based on semi-structured qualitative interviews with 14 employees at a range of churches in Sweden. The empirical material was analysed with qualitative textual analysis. FBO staff channeled a personal calling to offer services through their organisations and found PWUD be in need mainly of emergency support. Staff engaged in boundary work such as differentiating between activities conducted at the church premises or on the streets. Staff accompanied clients to meetings with publicly funded welfare services to the benefit of the clients, and they appreciated their free role compared to social services staff. FBOs mainly act as stabilisers in relation to official public welfare services. The role of prophetic diaconal work aiming at social justice was limited and clients’ emergency needs were in focus, which indicates that FBOs in Sweden mainly complement welfare state services.

Abstract [sv]

‘En fri position på mittfältet' – En kvalitativ studie om diakonalt socialt arbete med personer som använder narkotika i Sverige

Många diakonala organisationer (FBOs) utövar socialt arbete riktat mot marginaliserade grupper såsom personer som använder narkotika, men vi vet lite om hur diakonalt eller trosbaserat social arbete med denna grupp genomförs och hur personal ser på sitt arbete. Syftet med den här studien var att utforska hur socialt arbete med missbruk och beroende inom diakonala organisationer bedrivs. Studien är baserad på semistrukturerade kvalitativa intervjuer med 14 anställda vid olika kyrkor i Sverige. Det empiriska materialet analyserades med hjälp av kvalitativ textanalys. Personalen kanaliserar ett personligt kall genom att erbjuda sociala insatser via organisationerna och de ansåg att personer med missbruk framför allt behöver akuthjälp. Personalen ägnade sig åt gränsdragningsarbete som att skilja mellan aktiviteter genomförda i kyrkan eller på gatunivå. Personal följde med klienter till möten med socialtjänst för att bistå klienterna och de såg fördelar med den mer fria rollen jämfört med socialtjänstpersonalen. Organisationerna agerar framför allt som stabiliserande i relation till offentliga sociala välfärdsinsatser. Profetiskt diakonalt arbete med fokus på social rättvisa var begränsat och klienternas nödhjälpsbehov var i fokus, vilket indikerar att organisationerna mestadels kompletterar det sociala välfärdssystemet i Sverige.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2024
Keywords
Faith-based social work, diaconal work, social work practice, people who use drugs, trosbaserat socialt arbete, diakonalt arbete, socialt arbete med missbruk, personer som använder narkotika
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-61803 (URN)10.1080/13691457.2023.2227774 (DOI)001019815700001 ()2-s2.0-85164463167 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P18-0892:1Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Available from: 2023-08-09 Created: 2023-08-09 Last updated: 2024-04-11Bibliographically approved
Richert, T., Stallwitz, A. & Nordgren, J. (2023). Harm reduction social work with people who use drugs: a qualitative interview study with social workers in harm reduction services in Sweden. Harm Reduction Journal, 20(1), Article ID 146.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Harm reduction social work with people who use drugs: a qualitative interview study with social workers in harm reduction services in Sweden
2023 (English)In: Harm Reduction Journal, E-ISSN 1477-7517, Vol. 20, no 1, article id 146Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Social work with people who use drugs (PWUD) has traditionally focused on abstinence and rehabilitation. In recent years, harm reduction has gained an increasingly more important role in social work with PWUD, and social workers are key professionals in many harm reduction services. This study investigates how social workers in harm reduction services for PWUD in Sweden understand the concept of harm reduction and how it relates to goals of rehabilitation, and how they assess and deal with dilemmas and challenges in everyday work.

Methods: The study is based on interviews with 22 social workers in harm reduction services for PWUD in the Scania region of Sweden. A thematic analysis in three steps was used in coding and processing the data.

Results: The social workers pointed to similar values between social work and harm reduction and argued for combining the two fields to improve services for PWUD. Three overarching principles for Harm Reduction Social Work (HRSW) were developed based on the social workers accounts: (1) Harm reduction is a prerequisite for rather than a counterpoint to rehabilitation and recovery, (2) motivational work must be non-mandatory and based on the client's goals, (3) a holistic perspective is crucial for Harm Reduction Social Work. Challenges in doing HRSW concerned restrictive laws, policies, and guidelines, resistance from managers, difficulties in setting boundaries between client autonomy and life-saving interventions, and the risk of normalizing high-risk behaviors.

Conclusions: We use the concept of Harm Reduction Social Work to show how social work with PWUD can have a primary focus on reducing harm and risks, while at the same time it involves a holistic perspective that facilitates motivation and change. The suggested principles of HRSW can provide guidance in practical social work with vulnerable PWUD. Social workers can have important roles in most harm reduction settings and may act to enable recovery.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central (BMC), 2023
Keywords
Drug addiction, Harm reduction, Harm reduction social work, People who use drugs, Recovery, Rehabilitation, Social work
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-63174 (URN)10.1186/s12954-023-00884-w (DOI)001086757900001 ()37833801 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85174318108 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Malmö University, P18-0892:1Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Available from: 2023-10-17 Created: 2023-10-17 Last updated: 2024-02-15Bibliographically approved
Stallwitz, A., Nordgren, J. & Richert, T. (2023). ‘Not having a real life’: psychosocial functions of using and selling drugs among young Afghan men who came to Sweden as unaccompanied minors. Journal of ethnic and migration studies, 1-21
Open this publication in new window or tab >>‘Not having a real life’: psychosocial functions of using and selling drugs among young Afghan men who came to Sweden as unaccompanied minors
2023 (English)In: Journal of ethnic and migration studies, ISSN 1369-183X, E-ISSN 1469-9451, p. 1-21Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Unaccompanied minors (UM) entering Europe face significant psychosocial challenges. Uncertain residence situations, marginalization during the asylum process, and low levels of support increase their risk of developing mental health and drug use issues. However, little is known about drug involvement (using and dealing) in this group. This is the first study to investigate drug involvement among young adults who entered Europe as UM from their subjective perspectives. We conducted qualitative interviews with 11 Afghan men who came to Sweden as UM in 2015/2016 and had experience of using and/or selling drugs, and analyzed the transcripts based on grounded theory. Drug initiation usually occurred after arrival in Sweden and was related to peer influence. Using and selling fulfilled specific psychosocial functions including self-medication and money-making. ‘Not having a real life’ (being excluded from school, employment, and many social activities) emerged as a central motive for drug involvement. By using or selling drugs, feelings of social belonging and control over one's own life could be experienced. Long, uncertain asylum processes and social exclusion exacerbate the risk of UM and former UM using or selling drugs. Policy and intervention measures must focus on providing this group with support, social inclusion, and meaningful activities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2023
Keywords
Unaccompanied minors, Sweden, drug use, drugselling, social exclusion
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-64820 (URN)10.1080/1369183x.2023.2290984 (DOI)001128558000001 ()2-s2.0-85180208679 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Riksbankens JubileumsfondRiksbankens Jubileumsfond
Available from: 2024-01-03 Created: 2024-01-03 Last updated: 2024-01-04Bibliographically approved
Richert, T. & Nordgren, J. (2022). Social work with people who use drugs during the Covid-19 pandemic: A mixed methods study. Nordic Social Work Research, 1-14
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social work with people who use drugs during the Covid-19 pandemic: A mixed methods study
2022 (English)In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, p. 1-14Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Measures to control the spread of Covid-19 are challenging social work practice in terms of difficulties to deliver services to vulnerable groups. The aim of this study was to investigate how the Covid-19 pandemic affected social work with people who use drugs regarding ways of working, quality of work, accessibility, and staff motivation. A mixed methods approach was used which included an online survey (n = 81), and three qualitative focus group sessions with social workers in the field of addiction. We analysed the quantitative data through frequency calculations, cross tabulations and Pearson’s χ2 test, and the qualitative data with qualitative textual analysis. The demand for physical distancing challenged important principles of social work such as social closeness, trust and accessibility, and led to a difficult work environment and fewer opportunities to conduct high quality social work, as well as a reduced likelihood of vulnerable clients receiving adequate assistance. Altered practices concerning client meetings negatively affected assessments, working alliances as well as motivation and energy in social work practice. Social workers on the frontline became the ‘last outpost’ when other services shut down, and ‘digital bridges’ between clients and other social workers. Social workers faced a difficult trade-off between protecting themselves and clients from the risk of infection and providing support to a vulnerable group. There were also examples of new practices and lessons learned, for example, the introduction of ‘walks and talks’ with clients and an increased knowledge of how and when to use digital tools for communication.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2022
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-55994 (URN)10.1080/2156857x.2022.2141839 (DOI)2-s2.0-85141616872 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P18-0892:1
Available from: 2022-11-14 Created: 2022-11-14 Last updated: 2024-04-04Bibliographically approved
Co-InvestigatorRichert, Torkel
Co-InvestigatorNordgren, Johan
Co-InvestigatorHouborg, Esben
Coordinating organisation
Funder
Period
2019-01-01 - 2021-12-31
Keywords [sv]
Narkotika, polis, riskmiljö
Keywords [en]
Narcotics, police,
Identifiers
DiVA, id: project:2724

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