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Young Russian Speaking Migrants’ Utilization Behavior in Case of Intense Use of Alcohol and/or Drugs and (potential) Hepatitis


Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences, Berlin
Division Qualitative Research

Principal Investigator:
Research Team:
  • Tiana Patrik (Student Assistant) 
  • Aksana Rachytskaya (Student Assistant)


Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Feb 01, 2012 — Jan 31, 2015
Contact Person:
Dr. Gundula Röhnsch

Addictive diseases are the third most frequent mental illness. Young Russian speaking migrants (RSM) often have particularly strong patterns of alcohol and drug consumption. Therefore they have a high risk of drug associated diseases. At the same time they are a target group who is largely under- or unserved. This study pursues the question how RSM perceive their use of substance and possible consecutive diseases like virus hepatitides and how they cope with them. Of particular interest is under which condition they utilize professional help and which expectations and experiences are connected with this and why they may refrain from utilization. For answering these questions, episodic interviews are conducted with ca. 40 RSM varying in gender and the main substance they use. Data analysis focuses on determinants of utilization behavior (e.g. health related assumptions) with group specific typologies as generalized outcome. It can be assumed that addiction problems, their health consequences and the ways of coping with both will look different according to subjective views compared to ‘objective’ criteria. Therefore, this study juxtaposes views of RSM to experiences of service providers. For this purpose, around 30 service providers are interviewed with expert interviews in a sector transgressing way. They come from health and psychosocial care services. Participant observation at meeting points and in service institutions will elucidated, under which aspects the use of substance becomes an issue in the lifeworld of the RSM and which care relevant interactions occur in and between the different services. The results of this study will be transferred into recommendations for an integrated target group specific care for RSM.