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Understanding and responding to substance use and abuse in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon prior to and during COVID-19 times.

Aaraj, E, Haddad, P, Khalife, S, Fawaz, M and Van Hout, MC Understanding and responding to substance use and abuse in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon prior to and during COVID-19 times. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. ISSN 1557-1874 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Due to its geographical proximity to the Syrian conflict and the occupied territories, Lebanon has experienced an influx of refugees in recent times. Palestinian refugees are an identified key vulnerable population, with displaced communities increasingly experiencing camp insecurity, vulnerability to drug use and related health harms. A qualitative study consisting of in-depth interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs) was undertaken as part of a regional exercise investigating Palestinian community experiences of substance and drug use in refugee camps. Thematic analysis triangulated the perspectives of 11 professional stakeholders representing United Nations, human rights and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and eight Palestinian community members. Emerging themes centered on the interplay between socio-economic instability, lack of law enforcement and camp governance contributing to concerning levels of familial, drug and camp violence, trafficking and availability of drugs. Transactional sex and the exploitation of women and children in drug dealing, diversification toward drug manufacture and dealing of drugs with the outside community was described. There is a lack of harm reduction and rehabilitation supports for those in need. This study highlights the complexities in tackling drug dealing and related criminal activity within refugee camps and humanitarian settings, and the vulnerabilities of those living within to harmful drug use.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1117 Public Health and Health Services, 1701 Psychology
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Public Health Institute
Publisher: Springer
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2021 10:26
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2021 10:26
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15778

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