PUBLI : Yaël Tibi-Lévy, Daria Serebryakova et Marie Jauffret-Roustide, « Migration experiences, life conditions, and drug use practices of Russian-speaking drug users who live in Paris : a mixed-method analysis from the ANRS-Coquelicot study », Harm Reduction Journal, Août 2020

  • Liste complète des auteurs : Yaël Tibi-Lévy, Daria Sere­brya­kova, Marie Jauf­fret-Rous­tide, ANRS Coque­licot Study Group
  • Article en open access sur le site de la revue



After the collapse of the Soviet Union at the begin­ning of the 1990s, people who inject drugs spiked in Eastern Europe. Facing local repres­sion and an array of factors encou­ra­ging emigra­tion, some users have migrated to France. This popu­la­tion now make up to a third of the patient list of some harm reduc­tion services in Paris. This article aims to present original data on the socio­de­mo­gra­phic profiles of these users, on their migra­tion trajec­tory, their life condi­tions, and on the evolu­tion of their drug use prac­tices since arri­ving in Paris.


Data were collected as part of the ANRS-Coque­licot Survey, an HIV and HCV sero­pre­va­lence study among French-spea­king people who use drugs. A sub-sample of Russian-spea­king drug users who had relo­cated from Eastern Europe to live in Paris completed a quan­ti­ta­tive ques­tion­naire (N = 150) and a quali­ta­tive semi-struc­tured inter­view (N = 20). The survey aimed to describe parti­ci­pants’ back­grounds, and a thematic analysis of inter­views was conducted to explore parti­ci­pants’ migra­tion histo­ries, their life condi­tions in Paris, and their drug use prac­tices before and after arri­ving in France.


This study high­lights the great vulne­ra­bi­lity of the parti­ci­pa­ting popu­la­tion, often follo­wing a loss of social status after migra­ting to France. Another impor­tant finding is that parti­ci­pants had better access to harm reduc­tion tools and reduced their risk of expo­sure to HIV and HCV infec­tions linked to needle sharing. Although 60% said they had already shared a syringe in their life­time (49.9% of them in their home country), the propor­tions shrank to 13.9% after they arrived in France and to 9.3% in the month before the study, a propor­tion that is lower than among French-spea­king people who use drugs.


Our main findings on the profiles and beha­viors of the study popu­la­tion lead us to make two recom­men­da­tions : to offer stronger global care to these users in Paris and to reform drug policy in their home coun­tries by inte­gra­ting it into a public health approach.