Home > User-led interventions: an expanding resource?

Webster, Russell (2017) User-led interventions: an expanding resource? Lisbon: European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

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This short paper outlines the growth of user-led interventions across Europe in the problem (as opposed to recreational) drug sector over recent years. It starts by attempting to define and categorise user-led interventions before describing a number of examples and sharing what is known about their effectiveness. The paper concludes by identifying likely developments, highlighting the opportunities created by user-led work and detailing the challenges for policymakers and commissioners in Europe.

It is important to note that this paper is not based on a comprehensive survey of user-led initiatives in Europe, nor does it seek to list the many organisations and programmes operating in this space. Indeed, it does not appear that a survey of user-led services has ever been carried out. Hunt et al. (2010) point out that there are several difficulties in surveying the user-led provision accurately, since some organisations have a short lifespan and stigma means that there are good reasons for certain organisations to avoid being too visible. In addition, the extent to which users or ex-users are involved in leading a specific organisation is not always clear


Background paper commissioned by the EMCDDA for Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Report
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Intervention Type
General / Comprehensive, Treatment method, Harm reduction, Psychosocial treatment method
October 2017
14 p.
European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
Place of Publication
Related (external) link

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