The project aims to:
create a knowledge base on senior drug dependents in different age brackets and by gender and on their care and treatment needs;
elaborate practical implementation tools in form of guidelines for the implementation of outpatient (non-residential) and residential care structures and offers which are in line with gender mainstreaming principles.
In all EU countries there is a growing population of senior drug dependents (35 years and older). Most drug dependents over 35 years are polydrug users with a preference for opiates which they often inject, and most of them are mentally disordered and have dual diagnoses and many suffer from chronic infectious diseases. Action plans at the EU level and at national level have focused on preventing young people from experimenting with dangerous drugs and on treating them effectively. It is now necessary to shift the focus and to accumulate knowledge on senior drug dependents and their care and treatment needs.
To achieve its aims, the project will use different methods:
quantitative methods to explore and monitor the situation of senior drug dependents in different age brackets (35 years and older) and by gender in Germany, Austria, Poland and the United Kingdom;
qualitative methods will be used in two different contexts: interviews with senior drug dependents, and expert interviews. The project will perform a European-wide literature research that will complement the search for examples of good practice for senior drug dependents. It will analyse the legal and financial frameworks of each partner country. On the basis of knowledge and expert interviews country-specific guidelines will be worked out, as well as a guideline summary, which highlights important processes in planning and setting up projects addressed to senior drug dependents. The project work and its results will be disseminated.
The project expects to: increase general knowledge concerning the scope of the problem regarding senior drug dependents in the countries studied in different age brackets and by gender; analyse the legal and financial conditions in each country including its chances and restrictions to address the problems of the 85 Health determinants target group; examine the self-reported needs of senior drug dependents, and the needs of the target group as experts identify it and react to it. The project will identify existing examples of good institutional practice in dealing with senior drug dependents and prepare guidelines for outpatient and residential care structures for senior drug dependents in Germany, Austria, Poland and the United Kingdom as well as a guideline framework for EU countries at large.