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
Rigby P, Fotopoulou M, Rogers A & Manta A (2018) A Place of Safety for Everyone? (Seminar Presentation) (Presentation). Separated and Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children in Scotland Programme. Workshop 2, Glasgow, 26.04.2018-26.04.2018.
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. Realist 2017: From Promise to Practice - 2017 International Conference for Realist Research, Evaluation and Synthesis, 24.10.2017 - 26.10.2017, Brisbane, Australia.
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 , 14.7.2009 - 17.7.2009, Dublin, Ireland. Available from: http://www.ispp.org/docs/pastconferences/Program2009.pdf