The general objective of the Programme is the analysis of the social reality in the field of drug addiction. Episteme’s experience in the generation of knowledge in this field is demonstrable through the carrying out of different research studies, especially “Opiates in Spain”, which brought to the table the emergence of new phenomena and needs.
The programme “Processes of empowerment and access to rights in (semi-) hidden drug-dependent populations” is a research project aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of social and health resources and assessing the impact of public policies in the field of drug dependence. This programme is part of the grants announced by the Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030 for entities that carry out activities of general interest considered to be of social interest, charged to the IRPF tax allocation in the 2021 call for grants.
The study consists of ethnographic research based on three hundred and forty-four interviews, two hundred and ninety-two interviews with people from hidden drug-dependent populations and fifty-two interviews with professionals from care resources. The programme is implemented in seven Autonomous Communities, thus providing a wide scope and coverage of the territories with the largest population.
Among the most imminent empirical needs, the study addresses the defragmentation of the profile of heroin and other opioid users, the need to know the psychosocial processes and socio-cultural mechanisms of (semi-) hidden populations, the need to incorporate the gender perspective in social and health care resources, the need to advance in the destigmatisation of the drug dependent population and the lack of protocols and knowledge to attend to (semi-) hidden drug dependent populations. The study incorporates testimonies of different profiles with the aim of getting to know and describing realities that have been scarcely studied until now: elderly drug addicts, unaccompanied foreign minors, ethnic minorities, drug-addicted women, drug-addicted people with minors in their care and people from the raver environment.
The direct participation of the population under study as well as the professionals of the care resources allows us to go deeper into a changing reality and to offer proposals for improvement from social research.
Episteme’s commitment to applied research and social utility is part of an exercise to offer knowledge for the improvement of public policies in the field of intervention and to adapt social and health care in the field of drug dependence to a changing reality.
Harm reduction, drug dependence, heroin, gender perspective.