"Drug use is an important factor that increases the likelihood of concurrent social exclusion (EMCDDA, 2003a). However, there is no clear causality between drug use and social exclusion, as either may lead to the other, and both may be preceded and caused by (unknown) third factors. Many problem drug users already experienced problems in other spheres of life, including social exclusion, prior to their drug use. In this sense, problem drug users can also belong to other vulnerable groups, such as homeless people or people with mental health problems. Likewise, it is important to note that not all drug users are socially excluded (and vice versa).
However, this report focuses on social reintegration of problem drug users, who are at greater risk of social exclusion than non-problem drug users (EMCDDA, 2003a).
"Thus it becomes evident that problem drug users are not a distinct and exclusive population. As a consequence, overlaps exist between social reintegration activities targeted specifically at problem drug users and social reintegration activities for other vulnerable groups. This is reflected in the fact that many social reintegration programmes in the EU target not only problem drug users but a wider population at risk of social exclusion, including, for example, former prisoners and homeless people.
"Finally, European countries have set up a wide range of generic policies and structures that allow their citizens to maintain a minimum standard of life, to strengthen their abilities to be self-dependent and to protect them from the risk of social exclusion. Such generic structures or policies are generally referred to as welfare states. They are expected to provide social security, education and healthcare. European welfare policies generally include a commitment to full employment, social protection for all citizens and social inclusion (see Europe 2020 (1))."


EMCDDA Insights No. 13: Social reintegration and employment: evidence and interventions for drug users in treatment (Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2012), doi: 10.2810/72023, p. 23.