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Mapping the presence of and enhancing substance use treatment for migrants and ethnic minorities (MATREMI)

Research project DR/84 (Research action DR)


Persons :

  • Prof. dr.  DECORTE Tom - Universiteit Gent (UGent)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2018-15/1/2020
  • Mme  DE KOCK Charlotte - Universiteit Gent (UGent)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2018-15/1/2020
  • M.  ALEXANDRE Sébastien - FEDITO Bxl asbl (FEDITO)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2018-15/1/2020
  • Prof. dr.  JACOBS Dirk - Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2018-15/1/2020
  • Mme  MASCIA Carla - Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2018-15/1/2020
  • M.  LAUDENS Fred - Vlaams expertisecentrum Alcohol en andere Drugs (VAD)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2018-15/1/2020
  • Mevr.  BAETEN Inge - Vlaams expertisecentrum Alcohol en andere Drugs (VAD)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2018-15/1/2020
  • Mme  TOYINBO Lyssa - Vlaams expertisecentrum Alcohol en andere Drugs (VAD)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2018-15/1/2020

Description :

Description of project

MATREMI addresses a double caveat in literature and policy concerning migrants and ethnic minorities (MEM) in drug treatment. First, MATREMI focusses on how to register MEM service user presence in drug treatment more adequately (objective 1) and second, MATREMI will identify current Belgian literature and promising practices (aimed at reach and retention of and service accessibility for [potential] MEM service users) for drug treatment professionals (objective 2) by means of a promising practices guidebook.
In Belgium, preliminary studies among migrants and ethnic minorities (MEM) demonstrate lower retention rates in drug treatment, later first admittance, underrepresentation of females (Derluyn et al., 2008), generalized underrepresentation in therapeutic communities, overrepresentation in substitution treatment and generalized underrepresentation of intra-European migrants in drug treatment (Blomme et al., 2017) compared to their presence in the general population in the years 2012-2014. Generalized inaccessibility to drug treatment for refugees and asylum applicants (Dauvrin et al., 2012; Matthei, 2007; Suijkerbuijk, 2014) and a lack of knowledge about drug treatment among intra-European migrants, refugees and asylum applicants in particular have also been documented (De Kock & Decorte, 2017; De Kock et al., 2016).
However, a first large caveat in the literature and drug treatment policy is that statistics about the presence of MEM in drug treatment are not readily available in Belgium because no standardised indicators related to migration background are registered in Belgian drug treatment. In the drug treatment domain – as is the case in the other EU member states, Turkey and Norway – Belgium applies the European Treatment Demand Indicator (TDI), a European registration instrument that allows for comparing standardized data about service users entering drug treatment across European member states (Van Baelen et al., 2018). However, in the third TDI protocol (2012), the ‘nationality’ variable has been omitted. Consequently, this variable was also omitted as an obligatory variable in Belgian national registries starting from 2015. Some European member states do apply more sophisticated ethnicity related proxies, indicators and variables which could contribute to insights in MEM presence and trajectories in drug treatment. In this project we will identify these European methods on the basis of a literature study and an online survey.
The second caveat relates to the availability of promising practices to increase reach and retention of and accessibility for (potential) MEM services users in Belgian drug treatment. Belgian drug treatment services face complex questions regarding reach and retention of and accessibility for (potential) MEM service users, especially regarding intra-European (Blomme et al. 2017; De Kock et al. 2017) and female MEM problem users and potential service users (Derluyn et al. 2008), asylum applicants and (recognized) refugees (De Kock & Decorte, 2017). In the MATREMI project we will identify the existing Belgian literature on this theme in a literature study (2008-2018) and also identify promising practices in a practical guidebook for professionals (by means of a survey).
For this project we collaborate with partners ULB, VAD, Fédito BXL, Fédito Wallonne. This project is also in line with a broader research framework desgined at UGENT in 2019 on the theme "Problem use, treatment and judicial referral for migrants and ethnic minorities (MEM) in Belgium". The MATREMI project builds on the results of PADUMI.


Documentation :


  • PADUMI project
  • More info
  • Additional information and recommendations

    Mapping the presence of and enhancing substance use treatment for migrants and ethnic minorities (MATREMI): final report 2020  De Kock, Charlotte - Mascia, Carla - Laudens, Fred... et al.  Brussels : Belgian Science Policy, 2020 (SP2862)
    [To download

    Mapping the presence of and enhancing substance use treatment for migrants and ethnic minorities (MATREMI): samenvatting 2020  De Kock, Charlotte - Mascia, Carla - Laudens, Fred ... et al.  Brussel : Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid, 2020 (SP2864)
    [To download

    Mapping the presence of and enhancing substance use treatment for migrants and ethnic minorities (MATREMI): summary 2020  De Kock, Charlotte - Mascia, Carla - Laudens, Fred... et al.  Brussels : Belgian Science Policy, 2020 (SP2863)
    [To download

    Mapping the presence of and enhancing substance use treatment for migrants and ethnic minorities (MATREMI): résumé 2020  De Kock, Charlotte - Mascia, Carla - Laudens, Fred ... et al.  Bruxelles : Politique scientifique fédérale, 2020 (SP2865)
    [To download

    Wegwijzer voor een toegankelijke en interculturele drughulpverlening (MATREMI)  De Kock, Charlotte - Toyinbo, Lyssa - Laudens, Fred ... et al.  Brussel : Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid, 2020 (SP2874)
    [To download

    Recueil sur l'accesibilité et l'interculturalité des services pour usagers de drogues (MATREMI)  De Kock, Charlotte - Toyinbo, Lyssa - Laudens, Fred ... et al.  Bruxelles : Politique scientifique fédérale, 2020 (SP2875)
    [To download


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