Rettigheter og tvang i kommunale hjelpetilbud til personer med alvorlige samtidige rus- og psykiske lidelser: erfaringer med regelverket, i lys av menneskerettigheter
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonNordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. 2023. 10.1177/14550725231156479
Rights and coercion in municipal services for persons with co-occurring severe mental illness and substance use disorders – experiences with legal framework, in light of human rights. Aims: Persons with co-occurring severe mental illness and substance use disorders can have a considerable need for municipal health and care services but can be difficult to reach with such services. In Norway, there are known perceived ambiguities and obscurities in the legal framework for such services. This study aims to further examine these legal issues in a Norwegian context, by examining what challenges service providers experience in the practice of the current legal framework in this field. Design: The data consists of 13 qualitative interviews with strategically selected service providers from Norwegian municipalities and county governors’ offices. The interviews were analyzed through systematic text condensation. Results: The participants reflections resulted in three especially salient perceived challenges in the practice of the current legal framework in this field: ‘being dependent upon extra efforts that exceed the legal minimum requirements’, ‘lacking a legal basis and tools’ and ‘a complex and composite legal framework’. Conclusions: When seen in light of human rights, the three identified challenges in legal framework should be considered more closely both from a research perspective and from a policy making perspective. It should be investigated further whether human rights oblige the state beyond setting forth minimum requirements, how different human rights impact one another, especially with a view to service providers’ rights v. service recipients’ rights, and lastly if it is feasible to simplify or clarify the current legal framework to ensure adherence to the law and to promote equal practice among service providers.