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The project aligns with the aim of the EU’s Drugs Strategy and Action Plan ‘to significantly reduce the social harm and health damage caused by the use of, and trade in, illicit drugs’. It aims to achieve this by seeking to identify and promote effective throughcare for problematic drug users (PDUs) that provide programmes that help them address and manage their drug use in ways that reduce harms to themselves, their families and society. In addition, the project will explore and evaluate the provision of rehabilitation and throughcare programmes for prisoners who are PDUs, as specified in the EU Action Plan 2005-2008 (strategy aim 25.3:11:2&3, 25.3:13:2).

The general objectives of the Drug Prevention and Information programme are incorporated into the project. This is because the establishment of a multi-disciplinary network is essential for the dissemination of good practice, expansion of the knowledge through the research activities and meetings as well as a conference that will encourage an open dialogue with a view to promoting a better understanding of the drug phenomenon and how to provide effective throughcare.

Prisoners are a vulnerable group and this group is the focus of the project both while in prison and upon release. A key outcome of the project will therefore be the development of a standardised evaluation tool that can be used to evaluate such rehabilitation and reintegration programmes effectively.

There are two key aims of the research, which is to be achieved via the creation of the multi-disciplinary network, The first aim is to research existing approaches to throughcare and aftercare services for people with problematic drug use returning to the community from prison. The second aim is to explore prisoners´ needs of the services identified. The main foci of the research are prisoners who are young, women, from ethnic minorities and those with mental health issues. These aims will be achieved through the following key objectives:

Ethical Statement

BCU and WIAD expect staff from their project partners to behave professionally and ethically in all activities related to this project. They must be aware of the ethical implications of this research and be committed to discharging their responsibilities to the University, to clients and to research participants in an ethical manner and conform to the highest professional standards of conduct. All associated and collaborative partners in the project will be expected to adhere to the following [?] ethical principles and guidelines:

Principles for the Consideration of Ethical Issues


The Throughcare project is part funded by European Commission Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security.

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Contact Us: Professor Morag MacDonald, BCU. Tel: + 44 121 331 6305