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Fewer crisis centers in Norway accept women with active substance use

11.08.2023 - The Directorate for Children, Youth, and Family Affairs (Bufdir) has published updated statistics on crisis centres. It shows that fewer crisis centres than before are giving an unconditional 'yes' to accepting women with active substance use, informs Actis.

Only ten crisis centres accept women with active substance use

One of the groups most exposed to violence in Norway is those with active substance use. Still, they are not guaranteed a place in a crisis centre when they need protection. The new figures from Bufdir highlight this:

  • In 2022, only ten crisis centres unconditionally accepted women with active substance use. The corresponding numbers were 12 in both 2020 and 2021.

  • Fewer crisis centres than before give an unconditional 'no'. The number of these centres decreased from 4 in 2021 to 3 in 2022.

  • More crisis centres than before assessing on a case-by-case basis whether they can accept women with active substance use. In 2022, 30 centres followed this practice compared to 27 in 2021.

For men with active substance use, more crisis centres are now accepting this group. However, more centres are also rejecting them than the year before:

  • In 2021, 8 crisis centres unconditionally accepted men with active substance use. By 2022, this number increased to 9. From 2019, the number of crisis centres accepting men with active substance use has increased by 50 per cent.

  • Meanwhile, the proportion of crisis centres that unconditionally declined has nearly doubled from 2021 to 2022, from 4 to 7 centres.

  • The proportion that assesses the situation on a case-by-case basis decreased from 26 to 25 between 2021 and 2022.

There are more crisis centres for men than before that responded to the survey, which might have influenced the figures.

People with active substance use still most frequently rejected

Statistics from Bufdir also show that people with active substance use, for the fourth consecutive year, are the group most frequently turned away by crisis centres. This applies to both men and women.

"Everyone has the right to protection from violence, so it's disappointing that this group is still the one most often turned away by crisis centres. It's even more concerning that the proportion of crisis centres accepting people with active substance use has declined over recent years," says the Secretary General of Actis, Inger Lise Hansen.

Few come from substance care

According to Bufdir's statistics, only one per cent of crisis centre users came from substance care services, even though people with active substance use are a highly vulnerable group. Statistics from Sweden show that as many as 40 per cent in interdisciplinary specialised substance treatment ended up in emergency rooms following violent incidents. Only two per cent of those in crisis centres had contact with substance care services during their stay. Three per cent had been in contact with them previously.

"The low percentage of those arriving at crisis centres via substance care services, or in contact with them, probably reflects the inadequate crisis centre services for people with active substance use. At the same time, it shows a significant need for improved collaboration between the various services and interdisciplinary expertise on violence and substance use, both in substance care and at the crisis centres," says Hansen.

Revised crisis centre law expected this fall

Actis has high hopes for the revised Crisis Center Law coming this fall and believes it will strengthen the rights of vulnerable groups.

Hansen challenges the Minister of Children and Families to clarify the municipalities' responsibility to provide services for people with active substance use.

"Parliament decided this spring that the new law should enhance services to this group. We expect this to be followed, especially when statistics show fewer, not more, crisis centres offering services to those vulnerable due to substance use."

Source: Actis

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