Therapeutic Environments in Drug Treatment: From Stigmatising Spaces to Enabling Places. A Theory-Based Qualitative Analysis

Mads Bank*, Kirsten K. Roessler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Investigating therapeutic environments for young drug users is needed to avoid a high dropout rate due to a potential stigmatising effect of the structure of the space. In this article, we draw from three semi-structured interviews with young drug users. The interviews focused broadly on their experiences being on drug treatment and on how they experienced counselling and treatment in different spaces. The findings show that therapeutic spaces that were viewed as clinical and sterile were experienced as stigmatising, which discouraged young drug users from engaging in treatment and therapeutic processes. In contrast, therapeutic places with a homely atmosphere reduced the experience of stigmatisation, facilitated participation in treatment and helped users to relax and feel part of a community. In the analysis, we show how enabling therapeutic places with a homely atmosphere can be produced through materials, activities, and sensory processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5005
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number9
Number of pages11
ISSN1661-7827
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1. May 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • drug treatment
  • post-structuralism
  • space
  • stigma
  • therapeutic environments
  • youth

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