Ingo Ilja Michels
Heino Stöver
Nurgul Musaeva
Dinara Yessimova
Jiang Du
Azizbek Boltaev
Subkhon Ashuro
Umeda Munavvarova
Social work and strengthening of NGOs in development cooperation to treat drug addiction

Social work is one of the youngest scientific disciplines, it has developed itself as a discipline to address individuals, families and communities in social crisis (poverty, low level of education, unemployment, diseases, social isolation). In the last decade also problems with alcohol and drug dependencies increasingly became the subject of social work support(systems). Due to coming globalisation, where living space has become wider than the community itself, social work was forced to operate within wider horizons and to go beyond communities boundaries. 

Social work nowadays has been becoming a more global scientific discipline seeking answers to global questions. Social work is therefore linked to all seventeen global goals of sustainable development (SDGs). As the prevention and treatment of drug addiction in Germany and Central Asia has reached a common urgency, a training and research project in the field of social work in addiction support was developed in Germany, Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan) and China. The development of social work in these countries increasingly led to the development of common principles in the technology and ethics of social work, comparing standards and working out the socio-cultural peculiarities in the definition and practice of social work. These developments are examined and presented and their common solution ideas discussed in the context of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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Guidelines for conceptualization of doctoral projects from all partner Universities

This document is a topical guideline which should be treated as the basis for building the research questions of the doctoral projects in all partnering countries. This guideline synthesizes an array of literature and knowledge about the following issues of social practice, education, and research: 

  1. the three, central topics of the project introduced in the table below, 
  2. a brief overview of social work’s development history in PR China and Central Asia,
  3. an introduction into international social work literature, 
  4. brief coverage of existing knowledge around social work in drug treatment, in prisons, and with people who live with infectious diseases, 
  5. a review of social work ethics and standards, 
  6. introduction of the selected sustainable development goals and their possible combination with the three central research topics of the project, 
  7. concluding remarks on expected research projects and recommendations on further reading.

As  social  work  practice  and  research  with  drug  users  is  still  at  its  early  stages,  in  both China and Central Asia, our SOLID projectcan be used as tool in establishing and implementing social  work  education,  practice,  and  research.The  guidelines  elaborate  on  each  topic  and suggest a number of cross-variations for ways to operationalize in accordance with the relevant literature.  Thisguideline’s aim is to offer initial step in combining the overall project goals with the current situation in drug treatment provision and related social work practice and education in  all  partnering  countries.  Doctoral  students  are  encouraged  to  consult these  guidelines  along with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular sections 3, 4, 5, 10, and 16 

When  designing  their  doctoral  research  projects.  Possible  combination  of  the  project  goals  and SDGs are unpacked and discussed further belowin the paper. The suggested topics and sub-topics of the SOLID Exceed project revolve around three central areas:  

  1. Social work and drug therapy and counseling, including social work and psychosocial support in the context of opioid substitution
  2. Social work and HIV / AIDS, TB, hepatitis, corona
  3. Social work and prison (before / during / after imprisonment)
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Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziale Arbeit in der Suchthilfe
Competency profile of Social Work in Addiction Support and Addiction Prevention (2015, Münster, Germany)

The entire addiction support system is complex and designed through various statutory orders and cost unit/ sponsor structures. So, the qualified withdrawal treatment (Qualified Detoxification) at the expense of health insurance usually as seamless transition to outpatient or inpatient addiction rehabilitation at the expense of the German Pension insurance is well regulated, following the principle: outpatient before inpatient and rehab before pension. The service providers have created a Comprehensive Quality Assurance Program to ensure structural quality.

A different picture is shown in the outpatient addiction help, which is anchored in the regional municipalities. According to the political relationship of state or district policies at the local level, depending on the budgetary and regional demand situation, different drug service systems have been established as well as networking structures and cooperation. Due to primary funding from local authorities and the dependency on their financing scope, the maintaining, expanding but also limiting of this technically meaningful offer structure for the care of addicts is often subject to change.

As a result, at the regional level there has been a lot of heterogeneous systems of outpatient addiction help differentiated and professionalized. It ranges from the low-threshold survival aid, crisis intervention, prevention offers, addiction aid in companies to outpatient rehabilitation. Nevertheless, in order to have a certain comparability in the structures for access, we have created work areas such as those are found in addiction help organizations, and a descriptive, structured form of presentation. On the one hand, this represents the peculiarity of the respective field of work, but enables on the other hand, a basic comparability with the others areas. A total of eight fields of work are described:

  1. prevention;
  2. early intervention;
  3.  so-called low-threshold offers
  4. outpatient advice services (including psychosocial support during opiate substitution treatment);
  5. outpatient assisted living;
  6. the so-called acute addiction care;
  7. outpatient rehabilitation and
  8. aftercare as well as inpatient rehabilitation.

Based on the analysis of the forms of interventions in the entire area of addiction support not all of them, but most work areas are covered. 

The following structure is followed by the descriptions of the respective field of work:

  • Brief description of the field of work
  • Objectives of the offer
  • Range of services / interventions
  • Specific skills
  • Legal basis / cost unit
  • Cooperation partners
  • Documentation / evaluation / quality management
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