Final conference of the SRAP project for the prevention of addictions among young Roma people

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Sofia, Bulgaria, 7 June 2013 – The final conference of the SRAP project for the prevention of the use and abuse of legal and illegal drugs among young Roma and Sinti people was held on 6 June 2013, in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The first aim of this project, which was co-financed by the European Commission and led by the city of Bologna, and in which Efus was partner, was to understand better how drugs are perceived and used in Roma communities, particularly by young people, and what causes drug consumption and abuse. Based on this evaluation, the objective was to adapt drug prevention policies to the specific environment and needs of Roma people.

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During the conference, the project partners noted that addiction does not affect Roma people more than the mainstream population, but that it has more impact on these communities because they are socially excluded and live in great poverty.

Based on their analysis of the behaviour of drug users, the project partners identified the need to elaborate tailor-made strategies in order to provide better health and social care for Roma communities. The methodology used in the project was based on two types of activities: ‘motivational interviewing’ and ‘life skills education’, which were adapted by the SRAP project partners. 

The project partners then developed a methodology and training tools aimed at health and social workers who attend Roma people. The purpose is to give practitioners relevant information about the characteristics of Roma communities, in particular how they perceive health and drugs, in order to improve their professional skills.

The methodology born out of the SRAP project will be published in a guidebook entitled Health, Prevention of Addictions and Roma Youth in Europe, to be published in July. A final publication of the project will also be released, which will include the recommendations of the project partners.

The SRAP project will conclude in July 2013. In order to keep the momentum and strengthen prevention among Roma communities, the partners have set up a permanent exchange network.

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