ÍCARO. Medicalized youth, fragmented lives and uncertain futures. Research aimed at generating knowledge in social and health care and analyzing good practices of social and health care resources
To generate knowledge about the substance use process of unaccompanied migrant adolescents, both during the guardianship period and when they reach the age of majority and leave the youth centres. The aim of generating this knowledge is to develop a strategic tool for the prevention of drug use.
The main need that justifies the implementation of the Icarus programme is the extreme vulnerability of thousands of unaccompanied foreign minors whose guardianship period has ended and who find themselves in a street situation. Highly criminalised in the media, this group of young people is exposed to the greatest risk factors, including drug addiction. These young people live or have lived under the care of the public administration in temporary accommodation, places where many of them had their first contact with benzodiazepines (Rivotril) and pregabalin (Lyrica). These substances are highly addictive and poorly controlled, yet they are presented as a medicalised solution to the anxiety experienced by young people arriving after risky migratory journeys.
The aim of this study is to generate knowledge about the effects of the early medicalisation of these young people. To this end, we will analyse a sample of 27 unaccompanied young migrants and 25 professionals using qualitative analysis techniques. The research will take the form of a report and the design of an indicator system for measuring programmes and good practices that serve this hidden drug-dependent population.
Unaccompanied minors, benzodiazepines, homelessness, childhood.