Dr Maria Fotopoulou is a lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences. Prior to joining the University of Stirling she worked in the field of policy and service evaluation of the health and social care of problem drug users and more broadly marginalized and minority groups in the UK and Greece
An international and intersectional dialogue on how to reduce harm and promote wellbeing amongst people who have housing, health and substance use challenges: A series of knowledge exchange events
People who experience homelessness often have intersecting health problems including poor mental and physical health and problem substance use (Hewett & Halligan 2010). The co-occurrence of these three problems has been termed ‘tri-morbidity’. Problem substance use is often a contributing factor to someone becoming homeless and accounts for over a third of deaths in homeless people (Crisis 2011). Engagement with treatment services, particularly those which expect abstinence, can be extremely challenging (Collins et al. 2016). While harm reduction approaches are recommended for those unlikely to achieve abstinence (Raistrick et al. 2006), there is virtually no specific guidance on how harms from problem substance use can be reduced for homeless people. International models of care and housing provision exist but their relevance to Scotland has not been systematically explored. To address this gap we will create a dialogue on international, national and local best practices in this area and, most critically, on how we can work better together across sectors and disciplines to develop Scottish solutions. We will bring together a diverse group who have substantial knowledge of the issues to develop a nuanced understanding of the current position and how this can better inform policy and practice developments going forward.
My research interests include:
Problem substance use and specifically, the ways the 'drug problem' and problem drug users have been constructed historically
Problem substance use in relation to recovery processes and gender
The impact of problem drug use on individuals and communities; in particularly the experiences and needs of drug affected families
Evaluation of social policy with a specific focus on problematisation processes in drug policy
The needs and experiences of refugees and asylum seekers as well as unaccompanied children
Fotopoulou M & Malloch M (2022) Responding to Problem Substance Use: deconstructing structures and politicising the personal. In: Gelsthorpe L & Brown S (eds.) The Wiley Handbook on What Works with Girls and Women in Conflict with the Law: A Critical Review of Theory, Practice, and Policy. Wiley Series in Offender Rehabilitation, Wiley Series in Offender Rehabilitation. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. https://www.wiley.com/en-gb/The+Wiley+Handbook+on+What+Works+with+Girls+and+Women+in+Conflict+with+the+Law%3A+A+Critical+Review+of+Theory%2C+Practice%2C+and+Policy-p-9781119886419
Parkes T, Matheson C, Carver H, Foster R, Budd J, Liddell D, Wallace J, Pauly B, Fotopoulou M, Burley A, Anderson I, Price T, Schofield J & MacLennan G (2022) Assessing the feasibility, acceptability and accessibility of a peer-delivered intervention to reduce harm and improve the well-being of people who experience homelessness with problem substance use: the SHARPS study. Harm Reduction Journal, 19 (1), Art. No.: 10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12954-021-00582-5
Fotopoulou M, Grant M, Malloch M, Rigby P & Taylor K (2022) The Odyssey of the new policy: Reflections on the UK’s Nationality and Borders Bill (Part 1). University of Stirling Public Policy Blog [Policy blog post] 03.05.2022. https://policyblog.stir.ac.uk/2022/05/03/the-odyssey-of-the-new-policy-reflections-on-the-uks-nationality-and-borders-bill-part-1/
Parkes T, Matheson C, Carver H, Foster R, Budd J, Liddell D, Wallace J, Pauly B, Fotopoulou M, Burley A, Anderson I & MacLennan G (2022) A peer-delivered intervention to reduce harm and improve the well-being of homeless people with problem substance use: the SHARPS feasibility mixed-methods study. Health Technology Assessment, 26 (14), pp. 1-128. https://doi.org/10.3310/wvvl4786
Rigby P, Fotopoulou M, Rogers A, Manta A & Dikaiou M (2021) Problematising separated children: a policy analysis of the UK 'Safeguarding Strategy: Unaccompanied asylum seeking and refugee children'. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 47 (3), pp. 501-518. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183x.2019.1694407
Rigby P, Fotopoulou M, Copland F, Goodwin K & Grant M (2021) Supporting Separated Migrant Children to Thrive During Covid-19. Briefing Paper 3 – Local Authority Surveys. ESRC. Separated in Scotland. https://separatedinscotland.co.uk/artifacts/
Rigby P, Copland F, Fotopoulou M, Goodwin K & Grant M (2021) Supporting Separated Migrant Children to Thrive During Covid-19 Briefing Paper 1 – The Beginnings. ESRC. Separated in Scotland. https://separatedinscotland.co.uk/artifacts/
Fotopoulou M, Copland F, Goodwin K, Grant M & Rigby P (2021) Separated migrant children and connectivity during Covid 19 Working Paper 1. Separated in Scotland. https://separatedinscotland.co.uk/working-papers/
Fotopoulou M & Aston L (2020) Approaches to the Policing of Drugs: public health and harm in the context of drug use criminalisation. Approaches to the Policing of Drugs event, Edinburgh Napier Univeristy, 16.01.2020.
Parkes T, Matheson C, Carver H, Budd J, Liddell D, Wallace J, Pauly B, Fotopoulou M, Burley A, Anderson I, MacLennan G & Foster R (2019) Supporting Harm Reduction through Peer Support (SHARPS): testing the feasibility and acceptability of a peer-delivered, relational intervention for people with problem substance use who are homeless, to improve health outcomes, quality of life and social functioning and reduce harms: study protocol. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 5 (1), Art. No.: 64. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40814-019-0447-0
Fotopoulou M, Galinaki S & Papageorgiou C (2018) 'Public Health', 'Social Solidarity' and a modern Greek tragedy..... [Blog Post] 18.11.2018. https://idpc.net/blog/2018/11/public-health-social-solidarity-and-a-modern-greek-tragedy
Fotopoulou M & Malloch M (2018) Gendering recovery: women in research, policy and practice. Drugs, Alcohol, Women and Families, Manchester Metropolitan University, 23.05.2018-24.05.2018. https://dawfconference.files.wordpress.com/2018/05/dawf-conference-programme-final.pdf
Rigby P, Fotopoulou M, Rogers A & Manta A (2018) A Place of Safety for Everyone? (Presentation) Separated and Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children in Scotland Programme. Workshop 2, Glasgow, 26.04.2018-26.04.2018.
Fotopoulou M & Parkes T (2017) Family solidarity in the face of stress: responses to drug use problems in Greece. Addiction Research and Theory, 25 (4), pp. 326-333. https://doi.org/10.1080/16066359.2017.1279152
Coles E, Cheyne H, Fotopoulou M & Daniel B (2017) What works to improve child wellbeing? From policy to programme theory to practitioners: reflections on a realist journey (Presentation) Realist 2017: From Promise to Practice - 2017 International Conference for Realist Research, Evaluation and Synthesis, Brisbane, Australia, 24.10.2017-26.10.2017. https://realist2017.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Realist-2017-program-201017.pdf
Fotopoulou M (2015) There is no ‘I’ in Greece: Family responses to problem drug using careers (Presentation) 2015 Conference of the European Society for Social Drug Research, Glasgow, 03.09.2015-05.09.2015.
Fotopoulou M, Munro A & Taylor A (2015) ‘Allowing the right’ and its currency in managing drug stigma in Greece. International Journal of Drug Policy, 26 (8), pp. 723-730. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2015.04.005
Fotopoulou M (2014) Reasons behind Greek problem drug users' decisions to quit using drugs and engage in treatment of their own volition: sense of self and the Greek filotimo. Addiction, 109 (4), pp. 627-634. https://doi.org/10.1111/add.12459
Haritos-Fatouros M, Zimbardo P, Stoltzfus N, Fotopoulou M & Dikaiou M (2009) PTSD and female military returnees for Iraq and Afghanistan: What does the evidence tell us?. International Society of Political Psychology 32nd Annual Scientific Meeting, Dublin, Ireland, 14.07.2009-17.07.2009. http://www.ispp.org/docs/pastconferences/Program2009.pdf