Aims: The IATPAD (Improvement in Access to Treatment for People with Alcohol and Drug Related Problems) study explored barriers and facilitators to accessing alcohol and drug treatment services in eight European countries.
Methods: Results from individual interviews and focus group discussions with 246 service users who had experienced alcohol and drug treatment in Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Scotland are described. Thematic analysis was used to interpret the data.
Results: The study identified a number of consistent facilitating factors and barriers across all eight European countries, despite different health care systems. The results suggest that five main factors were implicated in the help-seeking behaviour of the service users interviewed. These were: information, service organisation, staff attitudes, significant others and personal disposition. All these factors could be viewed as both facilitators and barriers.
Conclusions: To enhance access to alcohol and drug treatment, local, non-stigmatising and available services are required alongside support from significant others which should increase motivation and skills of potential service users.