Attitudes and self-assessed knowledge on substance use among people who work in migrant centers in Serbia
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Institute of Public Health of Serbia "Dr Milan Jovanovic Batut" Serbia
Faculty of Dentistry, Pancevo, Serbia Serbia
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1373
Migrant children face different challenges including substance use. Prevention, including detection of early signs of experimentation with substances, and timely provision of treatment is highly dependent on support system including trained professional. For planning response to this issue, Institute of public health of Serbia “Dr Milan Jovanovic Batut” conducted a survey among persons engaged in migrant centers in Serbia on self-perceived knowledge and skills needed for prevention and support to migrants who use drugs.

The survey in migrant centers in Serbia among employees involved in provision of organisational, healthcare, phycological or social support to migrants. The questionnaire was designed for this survey and within a wider project aimed at improvement of prevention of substance use among migrant population in Serbia. The questionnaire was self-completed anonymously by respondents. In total 188 persons engaged in migrant centers completed the questionnaires.

Results show that 68.9% of respondents agree (fully or partly) with the statement that they could recognize the client under the influence of substances and 40.2% agree they could provide first aid for acute intoxicated clients. Less than half respondents estimate their knowledge as adequate or excellent with regards of drug laws (40.9%) and where people who use drugs can seek help or treatment (39.8%). Only 33.9% fully agree that they would know who should be contacted for further support in case they face challenges in provision of support to migrants and their families. The differences exist according to the level of education and profession.

There is a need for further training of employees in migrant centers in Serbia and strengthening their knowledge and skills for early identification of youtng people who are addicted or experiment with drugs, existing referral system and legislation in Serbia as well as for procedures and steps in case of acute intoxication.

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