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Asylum seekers and drug use. An explorative study on drug use and addiction problems among asylum seekers; an onset for efficient prevention and intervention
Braam, R., H. Dupont, H. Verbraeck.
Utrecht, Hilversum: Centrum voor Verslavingsonderzoek & Jellinek Gooi en Vechtstreek, 1999
isbn 90-71772-28-4 . . € 23
For this pilot study staff members of Dutch asylum centers and key representatives of the five largest groups of asylum seekers in the Netherlands, people from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Somalia and former Yugoslavia, were interviewed intensively on the causes, development, extent and nature of (excessive) drug use in asylum centers. Besides suggestions for efficient prevention and intervention were collected among the respondents.
Some asylum seekers take along their drugs of choice from their countries of origin. Asylum seekers from Iran continue to use opium in Dutch asylum centers, people from Somalia introduced the use of qat in the Netherlands and people from former Yugoslavia carry on to drink hard liquor in Dutch society. Other asylum seekers start to use ‘new’ drugs that are readily available in the Netherlands and not in their homelands, especially alcohol and cannabis. During their stay in Dutch asylum centers, some cultural groups start to use drugs in an excessive way. People from Iran get problems with opiates, both opium and heroin; people from former Yugoslavia are vulnerable for alcohol and heroin addictions. Causes of excessive drug use in Dutch asylum centers are post (civil)war traumas, an insecure future and especially weariness as the procedures of the Dutch Immigration Service take a long time and asylum seekers are not allowed tot work or to receive training when they stay in asylum centers. Asylum seekers of different cultural origin define excessive drug use in different ways. Some groups do not know a reading or appointment culture from their homelands, Prevention and intervention procedures must be cut to different cultural definitions of problematic drug use, and the cultures of the homelands. For some groups of asylum seekers prevention and intervention workers must be authorities as they only accept messages from them.