Vito FlakerSocial Construction of the Drug-user's Career - Pg. 211Keywords: drug-use typology, junkisation, figures of enjoyment, counter-figures, rarefaction of the role of junkie.
The paper presents the drug-user's career as a psychosocial process in which learning the techniques of enjoyment, roles and the expectations of the individual and the surroundings play an important part. The existing concepts of enjoyment and addiction are laid out. The discussion on drug-use is seen as dominated mainly by a black and white image which in a chiaro-schurro, as it were, represents two figures: a bad junkie and a good abstainer; the rest of the picture is dimmed. Analysing these concepts and taking into account domestic and foreign ethnographic findings, the author makes conclusions as to what in fact being a junkie means. He designs a classification in order to develop a more logical picture, presenting at once the possible stages or phases of the career of heroin use, as well as the use of other opiates, and the possible types of enjoyment. The typology is useful for tracing careers, and even though it is conceived as a linear progression from non-enjoyment to the junkie lifestyle, there are, in every stage, exits from the career or returns to a less intensive stage. The available data (even from the author's own quantitative research) support the thesis that enjoyment is structured as concentric circles in which, characteristically, the increasing intensity of the user's role and of actual enjoyment is matched by a lesser number of users of the corresponding type.
Dragica FojanDrugs as an Argument for Whatever - Pg. 241Keywords: the phenomenon of drugs, prohibitive policies, war against drugs, drug free society, rhetoric of drugs, primary prevention, harm reduction.
There is a gap between the declared goals of the (approximately eighty years lasting) prohibitive policies, briefly characterised by the famous notion 'drug free society', and the actual state of affairs. This casts doubt on the notion according to which war against drugs is war against danger/destructiveness of psychoactive substances. As a consequences, it also questions the validity of speech about the ineffectiveness of war against drugs. The purpose of the paper (in which the author's starting point is the definition of a drug as an 'argument for whatever') is to identify the contradictions concerning aetiology, prevalence and strategies/policies that can be observed in the prohibitive interpretation of the phenomenon of drugs.
Zoran KandučOn some Normative Questions Related to the Policy on Illegal Drugs - Pg. 255Keywords: drug policy, the right to use, self-management of the body, harm reduction.
The model of repressive (penal) control of illegal drugs is usually criticised on the basis of its evid-ent inefficiency and even counter-productive effects (it creates social and personal problems that are not in the least related to the use of drugs or even with addiction). The paper outlines an objection to the prohibitionist policy against drugs which derives from the normative point of view that everybody has a right to use any drug of his or her choice, and the according personal responsibility for that practice. Several possible normative arguments are suggested, for example, the right of 'self-management' of one's body and the right to harm oneself.
Tim Rhodes, Gerry V. Stimson, Nick Crofts, Andrew Ball, Karl Dehne, Lev KhodakevichInjection of Drugs, Rapid Spread of HIV, and 'Risk Environment': Factors that Imply Rapid Assessment and Response - Pg. 261Keywords: risk environment, drug injection, HIV epidemics, rapid assessment and response, public health, prevention, paradigm shift.
By comparing two geographical areas, South-East Asia and countries of the former Soviet Union, the authors develop a thesis, according to which social, cultural, economical and political environments determine the spreading of HIV amongst intravenous drug users. They point out the need to extend and shift the paradigm of research and of prevention planning away from individual risk factors to taking into account wider social and material factors that are still quite obscure but which condition the spreading of infections. A rapid and sensible response is crucial for the mastering of epidemics and can only be developed by using a variety of research methods, including qualitative methods that make possible the formation, supplementation and interpretation of the epidemiological measurement of environment. This approach also makes it possible for the assessment of the situation to participate at changing the risk environment.
Bojan DeklevaRecreational Use of Drugs - Pg. 281Keywords: recreational use of drugs, risk society, ecstasy, \'dance\' drugs.
The term 'recreational' use of drugs has come to frequent use in the 90's. It refers to, firstly, a certain pattern of drug use (how, when, what, who, where), and secondly, to a particular theoretical explanation of the nature of drug use. This explanation, sometimes called 'cultural', 'normative' or 'consumerist', competes with other explanations, e. g., medical or (social-)pathological and subcultural ones. Recreative use of drugs emerges in new, specific social circumstances. They are characterised by a prolongation of adolescence, the aggravated conditions of passage to full adulthood, the formation of very different, individualised courses of life, scenarios and careers, as well as - as it is called by some sociologists of the youth - the situation of manifold life risks. The latter demands that an individual develops idiosyncratic strategies of managing those risks, or that he or she develops the skill of taking risks as one of the basic life skills. On the other hand, these social conditions demand of professionals and administrative social subsystems to differentiate and weigh the risks, related to the use of drugs, and to respond in a differentiated manner. The policy of harm reduction is one of such responses. The paper relates this theoretical orientation to the results of a research on the use of ecstasy and other 'dance' drugs amongst the youth, and ends with a discussion on the implications of the theory of recreational use of drugs for preventive and other kinds of intervention.
Peter StefanoskiMotivational Interview - Pg. 287Keywords: motivation for change, phases of change, problems deriving from using drugs.
Motivational interview is a technique of stimulating a change of behaviour. It originates in the 'trans-theoretical' model of change. Motivation is seen as a relational-dynamic issue and not as a personality trait. An individual's motivation changes from one situation to another. By suitable professional interventions motivation for change can be raised.
Dušan NolimalFieldwork with Drug Users: General Principles and Experiences of Fieldwork in Slovenia to Date - Pg. 293Keywords: basic principles of fieldwork, target groups, planning, evaluation.
The paper presents the principles and types of fieldwork which, as a form of intervention in the community, supplements other public health and social activities. The reasons for the introduction of fieldwork in Slovenia include two facts: first, the existing interventions have not succeeded to reach all targeted individuals, and second, they have not offered all the services targeted groups need. The aim of fieldwork is mainly to reach individuals and groups who may need health and social services but are not in contact with them. Fieldwork has to be developed on the basis of epidemiological assessment in the field and the needs of drug users. What is also needed in fieldwork is supervision. For a systematic introduction of fieldwork and its carrying out the following is necessary: assessing the need of fieldwork, planning aims, tasks and strategies, selecting and educating fieldworkers, establishing contacts in the field, and carry out field services.
Jože HrenFieldwork - Pg. 299Keywords: fieldwork, drug users, social work, low-threshold programmes, harm reduction.
In the last few years, drug use has become one of the most important topics of everyday life. Social work could significantly implement its approach in the field of harm reduction and field work. So far, non government organisations played a more important role. One of the first, if not the first project in Slovenia that has systematically implemented field work is Aids Foundation Robert. With modest financial resources and without any relevant political support it has succeeded to develop several autonomous but mutual related activities: field work, drop-in, counselling, needle/syringe exchange.
Milan KrekFieldwork - An Opportunity for Interdisciplinary Approach - Pg. 307Keywords: drug use, fieldwork methods, co-ordination of professionals, interdisciplinarity.
In Slovenia, every science or profession engaged in working with drugs has its own approach to the problem, which is not bad, but those approaches are frequently not in line with each other. The demands of a wholesome treatment of drug use become clear in everyday life, when a drug dependant who does or does not wish to be treated needs to be prescribed one and only one wholesome therapy, in which a variety of professionals' activities will supplement one another or follow one another in a certain sequence. Fieldwork is an opportunity for interdisciplinary work of several professionals, as it calls for the inclusion of social workers just as much as physicians, sociologists, psychologists and drug users themselves, so that co-operation is by all means more important than whose profession will dominate individual programmes.
Theo van DamThe Experience of Dutch Drug-users' Organisations with Harm Reduction: With Instructions for a Safer Use of Drugs - Pg. 315Keywords: Dutch drug user organisations, activism, safer drug taking, prevention, HIV, peer counselling, fieldwork.
The Netherlands has a twenty year long tradition of interest groups and organisations of drug users which have always been engaged in the questions of drug policy and in planning and implementing services for the people who use drugs. The paper stresses the need for co-operation between users and professionals, frames the work with users in everyday life situations, and points out that users themselves may often be the best experts. It is also intended to encourage drug users to acknowledge to a greater extent their capacities and abilities to get more actively involved in solving problems that involve their lives. The descriptions of a variety of imaginative actions at which the author participated challenge users to be creative and innovative in their everyday struggles.
Kaja TratnikFieldwork Methods - Pg. 323Keywords: fieldworker, drug-user, contact, HIV, drug, dealer.
The paper presents examples of her work as fieldworker. By analysing some situations, she points out the importance of the first contact with the user and describes the peculiarities of fieldwork which demands from the worker a certain degree of personal integrity and knowledge. It is a precondition for quality fieldwork that the worker not only understands the problem of using illegal drugs and the character of fieldwork, but is also capable of empathy with each user. She takes establishing a contact with a user as a process (and not an event) whose length may vary and can be divided into phases.
Dare KocmurProject STIGMA - A Retrospective: For Pragmatic Social Work in the Field of Drugs - Pg. 333Keywords: war on drugs, HIV, hepatitis C, encounter strategies, low-threshold programmes, harm reduction, prevention, needle exchange, counselling, outreach work.
The paper discusses the initial activities and the development of the first non-governmental organisation in the field of reducing the harm related to drug use. It presents the first initiative towards the inclusion of drug users as the actors of self-help in co-operation with various medical and social work professionals. The programme aimed at the secondary prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (HIV, hepatitis), advocacy of methadone maintenance, counselling on safer or less damaging use of drugs, and enticing initiatives to grant human rights in the various institutions that carry out some form of 'treatment' of drug users (health, social work, jurisdiction). The paper concludes with the results of Stigma's needle exchange programme.
Vito Flaker, Vera Grebenc, Nino Rode, Janko Belin, Dragica Fajon, Alenka Grošičar, Ilonka Feher, Mateja Šantelj, Andrej Kastelic, Darja Zupančič, Zlato MerdanovićImages of Heroin Use in Slovenia from the Point of View of Harm Reduction: A Preliminary Research Report - Pg. 341Keywords: harm reduction, drug ethnography, career, risks, availability of drugs, service evaluation.
The paper is an abridged report on the results of a research that was conducted, as a part of the Harm Reduction Phare Project, at University of Ljubljana School of Social Work. The bulk of the material on which this report is based consists of interviews with users, the themes are presented chiefly from the point of view of the users, and often in their own words. In methodology, data processing and in the report, the researchers have consistently taken into account the users' perspective. No unified theory of heroin use is sought, rather, the gathered material is the basis on which the authors build the image of heroin use and a map of the users' practices in Slovenia. The main topics of both the research and this report are: knowledge and perception of drug use in the wider community, accessibility of drugs, points of view of drugs, characteristics of drug using groups, geographical placement of drug users, health issues, violence, employment, accommodation, contacts with relatives, peer groupings, career, drug dealing, risks of injecting and overdose, sex and drugs, prostitution, and evaluation of services. An important result of the research is that it presented the social aspects of harm reduction as opposed to the health factors that have been emphasised by all recent strategies of harm reduction.
Vera Grebenc10th International Conference on Drug Use Harm Reduction - Pg. 403
Milan KrekOutreach in Slovenia: Working with Drug Users in Their Living Environment - Pg. 407
Bogdan LešnikEditor's Notes - Pg. 133
A group of authors led by Blaž Mesec has conducted an interesting and useful research: they have studied the benefit of preventive programmes - mainly innovations in this country - carried out by social work centres in the second half of the 90's. The results are stimulating. Srečo Dragoš's contribution offers a reflection - much needed and too infrequent, we may say - on the vicissitudes of the concept and the practice of civil society; in the 80's, both were essential (predominantly in the form of new social movements) for the subsequent independence of Slovenia and the constitution of the new state. Matej Pelicon writes about one of vulnerable groups, that of persons who are categorised under mental disorder (or disability). The paper is an attempt at the conceptual-isation of their self-advocacy groups, initiated at the author's institution. One could remark that one of their aims should be to question the very categorisation... Another vulnerable group, persons with severe physical disability, is the subject of Boža Napret's paper, based on her experience. The paper is in fact an excellent example of self-advocacy and takes into account both the need for a change in people's attitudes towards the group and, to no lesser degree, the need for changes in social policy.
Blaž Mesec, Milko Poštrak, Nino Rode, Bojan Kern, Nika Cigoj KuzmaEvaluation of Preventive Programs of Centres for Social Work in Slovenia 1995-1998 - Pg. 135Keywords: evaluation, prevention, qualitative research.
A research-supported evaluation of preventive programs of five Slovene centres of social work has been accomplished. The model of complex three-dimensional 'evaluation grid', comprising evaluation of input, process, goal attainment and unintentional consequences on the individual, group and organisational levels with workers and users, was applied. Based predominantly on the opinions of workers and users and process-analysis, the evaluation of 19 dimensions of the projects (characteristics of input, targeting, quality of service, effectiveness, efficiency and organisational functioning) found that the results on most dimensions are positive and that the projects as viable social structures contribute with their very existence to the integration of endangered populations. The continuation of public support for the projects and methodological improvement of self-evaluations are suggested.
Srečo DragošCivil Society and the State - Pg. 151Keywords: concepts of civility, political pluralism, democracy, common will, sovereignty.
The paper points to the tenth anniversary of the civil society movements that made possible the sovereign state of Slovenia. Three aspects of civil society are under consideration: the social, the historical and the conceptual one. The author finds the first aspect the least troublesome, as it is increasingly paid attention to in professional circles (mainly in social care and social work, but lately also in sociological theory). The second - historical or event-centred - view is still valued in the public, though it seems to have lost some significance on the account of subsequent turning points in the constitution of the state. But the third is truly problematic, chiefly for three reasons: because the dialogue on civil society and interest for it has diminished since independence, because its reflection is limited to the narrow specialist circles, and because there has never been much consent about what is 'civil society' in the first place; today, the dissent is only profounder than a decade ago. The third, central part of the treatise presents the developmental logic of the concepts that are important for the definition of the civil sphere and its functions with regard to the state, taking the two as relational and not oppositional terms.
Matej PeliconSelf-advocacy Groups for Persons with a Disorder in Mental Development in Dolfka Boštjančič Centre, Draga - Pg. 175Keywords: children, adolescents, adults, disorder in mental development, self-advocacy, institution.
Persons with mild, medium and severe disorder in mental development are not involved to a sufficient degree in decision-making processes regarding basic issues in their lives. An opportunity to change this is provided by self-advocacy groups as introduced in the Dolfka Boštjančič Centre. The aim of the groups is to train the people with a disorder in mental development to be their own advocates. For a person to be in such capacity, he or she must have a feeling of his or her worth, he or she must be able to make choices and decisions and to communicate with others. This means positive thinking about oneself, acknowledgement of one's own capabilities, working upon one's weaknesses, developing warm relationships and mutual understanding. Communication is recognised as a two-way process. What is needed is a training in communication skills and mutual help.
Boža NapretEveryday Life of Persons with the Severest Forms of Physical Disability and their Integration into Society - Pg. 183Keywords: everyday life, normalisation, institutional care, family care, integration.
The present time can be described as the time of great changes taking place on all levels of human life and in all areas of social action. Its determinants, or in other words, everyday life of persons with the severest forms of physical disability in Slovenia is presented through a variety of scientific and professional points of view that are focused on the complexities of social events.
Vesna LeskošekV. FLAKER (1998), Opening the Insanity: The Rise and Fall of Total Institutions - Pg. 191
Bogdan lešnikEditor's Notes - Pg. 71
In Slovenia, HIV infection and aids do not (yet?) have the prevalence observed in more threatened countries, but neither are they wholly absent. Thus, the basic instructions for counselling presented in Miran olinc's contribution can perform even two functions at once: beside the immediate benefit for work with users - for some incidence does exist - it is also a piece of information social workers must be acquainted with - and not only about how it is done in countries with more experiences but also for a reconsideration of alternative forms of counselling enticed by its specific uses, i. e., its use in specific cases for which it does not suffice to simply apply some 'general' technique. The old question of the double role of social workers is most interestingly dealt with in the paper by Jasna Cajnko. Even though it is known elsewhere as well, she points out that in Slovenia, it is enhanced in part, perhaps, by our historical heritage, but in part certainly also by still unsettled boundaries of the field, resulting in contradictory practice.
Miran ŠolincCounselling about HIV Infection and AIDS - Pg. 73Keywords: counselling, HIV virus, AIDS, testing, risk behaviour, \'worried well\', prevention.
The paper gives basic but useful information on the epidemic, the epidemiological patterns and the ways of transmission of HIV infection. This is followed by the presentation of counselling, starting with the list of groups for whom counselling about HIV infection and AIDS is designed and who need it. The paper describes the ways of counselling before and after taking a test and in the cases when the result is either negative, equivocal or positive. Special attention is drawn to specific target groups such as infants, school children, seropositive children with haemophilia, and pregnant women. A separate section discusses the counselling of 'worried well'. Up-to-date information about HIV infection and AIDS cases in Slovenia are shown in conclusion. In appendices, (1) guidelines for the use of condoms, (2) general recommendations for individuals, persons with aids and their relatives, as well as professionals dealing with aids, and (3) further information for seropositive people are given.
Jasna CajnkoThe Provisions of Centres of Social Work under Close Scrutiny - Pg. 107Keywords: social policy, centres of social work, social control, autonomy of social- work.
The author presents her view of social policy in the frame of social care, as she experiences it at her work place. She scrutinizes the antagonism between what is 'professionally bound and ethical' versus 'involvement in the system and social control'. In this respect she observes the reactions of the public to the provisions entrusted to public institutes by public authorization, and looks for the reasons of the users' varying attitudes towards social work. She points out the double role of professionals at centres of social work who are educated in the humanities but must perform the tasks of other expertise, such as criminal and procedural law, and further, the fact that the work of professional social workers is often evaluated from the point of view of other professions, in particular those with longer traditions in this country.
Blaž MesecDays of Social Work 1998: Opening Address by the Dean of the School of Social Work - Pg. 113
Vida Kramžar KlemenčičSrečo Dragoš (1998), Catholicism in Slovenia: Social Concepts Before the Second World War - Pg. 119
Žanet MithansAddiction as a Menageable Problem on the Path of Life - Pg. 125
Bogdan LešnikEditor's Notes - Pg. 3
This issue is characterised by thematic variety in which some topics invariably recur, just as typical problems met by social work recur, despite their variety, and of course they are related to current social problems and preoccupations. Thus, two papers deal with unemployment - Cveto Uršič and Janez Drobnič with the disabled who are unemployed, while Metod Tekavčič contributes a report on his research from a club of employment seekers (to which Blaž Mesec's commentary to the methodological part of the report is added). The next two papers are about divorce (of both married and unmarried spouses); in the first one, Irena Bizjak pleads for the introduction of 'joint parenthood', when the divorced couple agree about it and there are no counter-indications, and in the second, Franc Udovič again presents the technique of mediation. In 'essays', Stanija Ivajnšič discusses some constant questions of social work in homes of the aged, while Vida Kramžar Klemenčič attempts to analyse the issue of personal faith from the point of view of E. Erikson's theory.
Cveto Uršič, Janez DrobničEconomical and Social Position of Unemployed Disabled People in Slovenia: Characteristics of Individual Groups of the Disabled Regarding the Legal Provision on Disability - Pg. 5
The authors analyse the position of individual groups of the disabled - due to work, war, categorisation (juveniles), and those who got the status on the basis of the Law of Training and Employment of the Disabled Persons - on the labour market. Their findings are based on the research Economical and Social Position of Unemployed Disabled People in Slovenia they carried out (with collaborators) in 1995. Individual groups of the disabled differ according to their degree of education, their age and their interest in employment. As a whole, this group of employment seekers have worse personal characteristics (lower education, higher age, shorter and more negative working experience, more health problems) than the unemployed who are not disabled. That reason, along with inadequate systemic solutions, contributes to their increasing marginalisation.
Metod TekavčičEffects of the Club of Employment Seekers - Pg. 13
The comparison of a group of persons categorised as long-term unemployed who are members of an employment seeking club (n = 19) with a comparable group of nonmembers (n = 20) - equalized in gender, age, education, marital status, employment age, duration of unemployment, cause of unemployment and self-rating of possibilities for employment - conducted after three weeks of the former group's participation in the club shows that the groups differ significantly (chi-square test) in self-ratings of self-esteem and of their performance in the employment interview, the members being higher on both items. In the member-group, there are fewer persons who had been seeking employment through formal and informal channels before they enrolled into the club. There are no significant differences between groups in their statements of psychological, social and economic stresses of unemployment and in manifestations of readiness for education and training.
Blaž MesecEffects of the Club of Employment Seekers: Commentary - Pg. 24
In the commentary to the above report, the problems of interpretation related to the ex post facto design are discussed, and an interpretation is offered, partially supported by the findings of the research that the persons who voluntarily enrolled in the employment seeking club were more dependent, more ready to admit helplessness and accept help ("weak job seekers"); on the other side, the nonmembers are less dependent, less ready to admit helplessness and ask for help ("strong job seekers"). It seems that those who admit their own helplessness and seek help have higher possibilities to get employment.
Irena BizjakJoint Parenthood after Divorce or Break-up of an Extramarital Household: Better Opportunities for Social Work with Family - Pg. 29
The paper presents the possibility of arranging for joint parenthood of children after divorce or break-up of an extramarital household through practice and law. Many courts of law do not take into consideration parents' agreements on joint care of their child, referring to the Law of Matrimony and Family Relations that does not mention that possibility. More and more countries have altered their legal practice and the law itself, so that when circumstances allow, the child is assigned to both parents' care and upbringing. To entrust the child to one parent only has become rather an exception in cases when joint care would not be to the child's benefit. The author's intent is to contribute to better social work with the family in which none of the parents renounces his or her care of the child. This approach in social work stimulates the quality of work, does not exclude anybody and seeks opportunities for both parents to care for their child.
Franc UdovičMediation as Compared with Related Approaches - Pg. 41
The rapid growth of the practice of mediation in the world indicates that this approach to resolving interpersonal conflicts is very effective and obviously fills the gap that has always been felt by social work practitioners. The process of mediation with its temporal-logical graded structure and clear orientation towards an honest, self-responsible and co-operative conflict solution is an opportunity for the partners in conflict to keep dignity and self-respect while asserting their interests. The interdisciplinarity of the mediation technique (social sciences, psychology, law and economy) allows a comprehensive and dynamic treatment of conflict. In this way, the partners reach agreements that are suitable to the circumstances and satisfy all the participants, thus obtaining permanent value. Such conflict management seems particularly important in the field of family relations, where a continuation of a relationship between partners is expected, as what is often at issue is the delicate question of protecting the rights and welfare of their children. These can be best protected if the parents keep co-operating and jointly care for the children (mutual parenthood). In order to do so, numerous and precise agreements are needed between the parents, as well as their readiness to adjust them to changed circumstances. All of this can be achieved in the process of mediation.
Stanija IvanjšičSome Open Questions and Dilemmas of Social Work in a Home of the Aged - Pg. 49
In the time when our society irreversibly ages, institutional care has become a necessity or a need dictated by the contemporary way of life. Institutional care is the most widely spread form of organised care of the aged in Slovenia. Despite great efforts to enrich the life in homes of the aged with cultural and social actions, a part of psychological and emotional needs of an aged person can only be satisfied by his or her friends and relatives. The paper lists the open questions met by social workers in relation to the aged persons and their relatives, to their teams, to the institutions employing them, and to other institutions and individuals with whom they co-operate. The red thread is in these questions: how to preserve personal integrity of the aged person; how to alleviate the effects of institutionalisation; and how to successfully carry out the role of institution and the role of counsellor. Open questions and dilemmas met at work can be solved in supervision. Supervision enables professional growth of a counsellor, keeps up his or her self-confidence and autonomy in decisions, which is crucial for his or her successful work and content at work.
Vida Kramžar KlemenčičIndividual Faith as Related to the Concept of Psychosocial Development - Pg. 53
The field of individual faith, established by W. James at the beginning of the century, is wide and ramified. Several theoretical clusters stem from it, the research of personal faith as related to personality development for one. The pioneer of such research was G. Allport. In the author's view, one of his most interesting successors was E. Erikson who, on the basis of general anthropological assumptions, built an interesting and well known theory of personality development and linked it to the phenomenon of ritualisation. Ritualisation is not synonymous with the religious but its condition. In the process of individual ritualisation all elements of religious ritual or experience can appear, such as numinosity, dramaticallity, adherence etc. Such research gives grounds to the investigations of the diversity and the universality of religious conduct.