Browsing by Author "Törmä, Sinikka"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-1 of 1
  • Törmä, Sinikka (Sosiaalikehitys Oy, 2009)
    The study examines the term "low threshold" from the point of view of the most marginalized drug users. While using illicit drugs is criminalised and morally judged in Finland, users have special barriers to seek for care. Low threshold services aim at reaching drug users who themselves don t seek for help. "Low threshold" is a metaphor describing easy access to services. The theoretical frame of reference of the study consists of processing the term analytically and critically. The research work sets out to test the rhetoric of low threshold by making use of a qualitative multi-case study to find out, if the threshold of so called low threshold services always appears low for the most marginalized drug users. The cases are: the mobile unite offering health counselling, the day service centre for marginalized substance abusers and the low threshold project of the outpatient clinic for drug users in Helsinki and the health counselling service trial in Vyborg, Russia. The case study answer following questions: 1) How do the method of low threshold work out in the studied cases from the point of view of the most marginalized drug users? 2) How do potential thresholds appear and how did they develop? 3) How do the most marginalized drug users get into the care system through low threshold? The data consists of interviews of drug users, workers and other specialists having been accomplished in the years 2001 - 2006, patient documents and customer registers. The dissertation includes four articles published in the years 2006 - 2008 and the summary article. The study manifests that even low threshold is not always low enough for the most marginalized drug users. That expresses a highly multiproblematised and underpriviledged group of drug users, whose life and utilization of services are framed by deep marginalisation, homelessness, multi-substance use, mental and somatic illnesses and being repeatedly imprisoned. Using services is rendered difficult by many factors arising from the care system, drug users themselves and the action environment. In Finland thresholds are generally due to the execution of practical services and procedures not considering the fear of control and labelling as a drug user. When striving for further rehabilitating substance abuse care by means of low threshold services the marginalized drug users meet the biggest difficulties. They are due to inelastic structures, procedures and division of labour in the established care system and also to poor chances of drug users to be in action in the way expected by the care system. Multiproblematic multisubstance users become "wrong" customers by high expectations of care motivation and specializing in the care system. In Russia the thresholds are primarily caused by rigid control politics directed to drug users by the society and by the scantiness of care system. The ideology of reducing drug related harm is not approved and the care system is unwilling to commit to it. Low threshold turnes out to be relative as a term. The rhetoric of the care system is not enough to unilaterally define lowness of the threshold. The experiences of drug users and the actual activity to search for care determine the threshold. It does not appear the same for everybody either. Access of certain customer group to a service unit may even raise the threshold for some other group. The low threshold system also is surprisingly realized: you could not always tell in advance, what kind of customers and how many of them could be reached. Keywords: low threshold, marginalized drug users, harm reduction, barriers to services, outreach