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User-led interventions: an expanding resource?


Russell Webster

Subject Keywords: Drug problem, Intervention
Catalogue: Research and Evaluation
Type: Report
Region: Europe

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.



Rights: © Public
Suggested citation:

Russell Webster. (2017) User-led interventions: an expanding resource? [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 24th May 2018].


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