Stockholm university logo, link to start page

Research project Risks of injection drug use in a Swedish context

Risks of injection drug use in a Swedish context: Prevention of harms in practice according to users, treatment staff, and societal actors

Sprutor
Foto: Aleksandr Kichigin/Mostphotos

This project is developed in collaboration with the Stockholm Needle Exchange Program (NEP). It will shed light on how risks and harms are understood and can be prevented from different actors’ perspectives and in response to central aspects of the practical work.

The aim is to increase our knowledge on how people who inject drugs (PWID), treatment staff and other societal actors reason about whether and how risks and harms can be prevented, and how this relates to the interaction between individuals, social situations (e.g., social network, injection) and institutions (e.g., drugs policy, public debate).

Project description

Despite the introduction of a number of harm reduction measures in Sweden, injection drug use (IDU) is still associated with major medical and social harms that can be limited by prevention measures. Such harms hit this group of drug users particularly hard, but the risks also vary in an interplay between individual (e.g., tolerance, co-morbidity) and institutional (e.g., policy) factors. For increased knowledge about the risks and harms of IDU, and to improve prevention, treatment and policy, professional actors in the field have requested in-depth research in the field.

This project, developed in collaboration with the Stockholm Needle Exchange Program (NEP), therefore sheds light on how risks and harms are understood and can be prevented from different actors’ perspectives and in response to central aspects of the practical work.

The aim is to increase our knowledge on how people who inject drugs (PWID), treatment staff and other societal actors reason about whether and how risks and harms can be prevented, and how this relates to the interaction between individuals, social situations (e.g., social network, injection) and institutions (e.g., drugs policy, public debate). By collecting and analyzing qualitative data (interviews, media and policy material) building upon quantitative register data from the NEP, the project’s four sub-studies provide new knowledge about how risks, harms, poor health and death can be prevented based on users’ (micro level), staff’s (meso level) and societal perspectives (macro level). An in-depth analysis of differences between these levels can provide suggestions for feasible preventive measures to be implemented in practice.

The project contributes with knowledge on how risks and harms are created in interaction between individuals, groups and social institutions and how we can create beneficial conditions for good health in a particularly vulnerable group, by strongly considering also the users’ views on risk and risktaking.

Project members

Project managers

Jessica Storbjörk

Associate professor

Department of Public Health Sciences
 Jessica Storbjörk

Members

Lena Eriksson

Senior Lecturer

Department of Public Health Sciences
Lena Eriksson

martin Kåberg

Chief physician

Beroendecentrum Stockholm SLSO

Josefin Månsson

Universitetslektor

Department of Social Work
Josefin Månsson. Foto: Rickard Kihlström

Eva Samuelsson

Researcher

Department of Social Work
Eva Samuelsson

Jukka Törrönen

Professor

Department of Public Health Sciences
Jukka Törrönen

Katarina Winter

Vikarierande Lektor

Department of Criminology
Katarina Winter