Carole Murphy

Carole Murphy is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Sociology, and successfully launched the MA in Human Trafficking, Migration and Organised Crime in 2017. She played a key role in establishing the Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery at St Mary’s University, in 2015 and is currently research lead for the Centre. Her main research interests are in human trafficking and modern slavery and intersections with social problems, inequalities, addiction and health/mental health issues. Carole has published on the performance of identity in recovery from addiction, and on media representations and political discourses about migration, smuggling and human trafficking. Her report, A Game of Chance?: Long-term support for Survivors of Modern Slavery (2018) a study based on interviews with first responders in the UK, including police and NGOs, evaluated the impact of gaps in long-term support for survivors of modern slavery. She is currently examining barriers to services for substance using survivors.

Addiction, mental health and human trafficking: barriers to recovery

Presentation audio: Addiction, mental health and human trafficking: barriers to recovery

Service provision for substance using survivors of trafficking is under researched. This study aims to develop insights into service provision for survivors of trafficking with complex needs. Evidence suggests that service users of alcohol and/or drug services are likely to have a co-existing mental health disorder (Staiger et al, 2011: 47). Those who have intersecting support needs (Hodges & Burch, 2019) are more likely to fall ‘between the gaps’ of existing service systems (Staiger et al, 2011). Barriers to engagement in services can be associated with the ‘silo’ based approach (Donald et al, 2005) for those with co-occurring conditions (Hughes et al, 2019). For survivors of trafficking, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal ideation and depression require trauma informed approaches to support (Hossein et al, 2010; Zimmerman et al., 2003, 345; Witkin & Robjant, 2018). Few studies have investigated the impact of co-occurring mental ill health and substance use on survivors’ access to services or outcomes in recovery. A case study approach was used to examine the capacity of residential services in a UK city to support survivors with co-occurring substance use and mental health needs. Protocols for support were examined and data collected about service users patterns of substance use. Findings show that services for survivors of trafficking have limited scope to support people who use substances. Specialist services need to be developed that offer integrated care, drawing on existing models (Granholm et al, 2003) whilst recognising specific needs of survivors of trafficking, including the need for trauma informed interventions.