Clubbing without Drugs

Contact name: 
Jonas Zala
Organization: 
Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department of Lithuania
Telephone: 
+370 5 2668068, +370 672 43275
Address: 
Šv. Stepono str. 27, LT- 01312 Vilnius, Lithuania
Fax: 
+370 5 2668095
Summary

General objective is to modify the stated problem and to start recreational drug use prevention in youth entertainment places. The main outcome of the project is the number of nightclubs which will start cooperation with responsible institutions (police, municipalities, Drug Control Department under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania) in order to solve recreational drug use problem.

Abstract

Background

Until 2005, the prevalence of drug use in the Lithuanian population was not well researched. 8.2% of Lithuanian residents used drugs at least once in their lifetime. Nightclubs were mentioned as one of the most popular places for drug use and distribution.

Objectives

The goal of the project was to start recreational drug use prevention in youth entertainment places:

  1. to inform owners of youth entertainment places;
  2. to organize media campaigns targeted at young active people;
  3. to inform the representatives of media, municipalities, and non-governmental organizations;
  4. to improve cooperation between police and nightclubs and to achieve more effective solutions.
Characteristics

Clubbing without Drugs tried not to moralize but to communicate, discuss and motivate to solve problems together; relevant and popular communication channels were chosen: websites, colourful pictures and photos, short texts, information based on relevant facts.

Evaluation

Communication and cooperation between the institutions (Police Department, Drug Control Department, non-governmental organizations, municipalities, centres for addictive disorders) were improved. This will help to implement recreational drug use prevention in the future in Lithuanian cities. The feedback was very cautious, but positive.The international practice shows that long term efficiency of such prevention campaigns can only be noticed 25 years after its launch and development. However, the current campaign reached its short-term targets.

Conclusion

The main factors which led the project Clubbing without Drugs to success were: long preliminary work, project planning, studying best practice of foreign countries, and searching for experts all over Europe.

Intervention details

Type of intervention
Selective prevention
Problem addressed
Illegal drugs, Nightclubs
Intervention setting
Bar
Club/disco/afters
Youth clubs
Mass media
Target population

Adults, children/young people, visitors

Substances adressed
Non-specified
Other
General drug
Strategic target group (social agents acting as intermediaries between intervention and target group)

owners of youth entertainment , the representatives of municipalities, police, non-governmental organizations

Intervention activities
Providing information
Use of media
Use of Internet and other new technologies
Actions
A workshop / discussion Prevention of Recreational Drug Use: a Role of Nightclubs was organised for nightclubs, with participation of Swedish expert Johanna Gripenberg (STAD project) and owner of the biggest chain of nightclubs in Sweden Lennart Karlsson who is actively engaged in prevention activities. At the workshop joint recommendations of the Drug Control Department and the Police Department under the Ministry of Interior were resented how to solve the drug problem in nightclubs, a video film on problems caused by drugs in nightclubs produced by Swedish professionals was showed.A meeting with Swedish experts on drug use and distribution prevention in nightclubs was organised for representatives of Lithuanian institutions, organisations and NGOs (30 participants).Methodological recommendations on the implementation of drug use prevention in recreational settings for recreational entrepreneurs were prepared and published (1000 copies). The publication is distributated to nightclubs, local governments, police officers, drug control and and drug addiction prevention professionals.A website www.benarkotiku.lt for youth providing information on drug harm was produced and introduced through popular mass media channels. This website provides simple and non-judgemental information about clubbing culture and drug use, drug related harms, consequences of multiple drug use and advice on help and first aid in case of intoxication. The website also provides progress information of the Project Clubbing without Drugs. The media campaign Forget it was used (http://www.nkd.lt/index.php?id=0-53-278) and targeted to young active people informing them about the harm of recreational drug use. This campaign used: television (it gave the campaign a national dimension); outdoor posters (they are able to reach an individual directly, the 3 sided stands were very apt for big cities, they were raised at zones that are known as meeting points of various segments of the target audience); and the internet (it is the favorite medium of the target audience. The banners were linked to the website www.benarkotiku.lt and placed in sites that are known to be especially popular among young people).
Theory/evidence behind the intervention

The main goal of the project was to start recreational drug use prevention in youth entertainment places. The project was started after the research of the prevalence of drug use in the general population carried out by Drug Control Department under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. It showed that city dwellers in Lithuania use drugs more often than people from rural areas and smaller towns 6.1% of rural residents, 6.6% of people living in district centres, 7.9% of people living in other towns, and 12.6% of people living in three biggest cities of Lithuania (Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipeda) tried using drugs at least once in their lifetime. Nightclubs were mentioned as one of the most popular place of drug use and distribution. As recreational drug use problem is very complicated and involves not only governmental sector but also private sector (nightclubs) all the activities of the prevention.

Number of people needed
Around 70 owners of youth entertainment places (mainly nightclubs) were informed about the harm of recreational drug use and motivated to be more active against drug use and distribution in their venues (sticker-ads and film were distributed).
Specific training required?
No
Time required to run
The project can be carried out constantly (media campaign depends on finance possibilities).
Other resource requirements

No

Evaluation details

Evaluation type (e.g. process, outcome, cost-effectiveness)
Process evaluation
Activities evaluated

Media campaign

Type of evaluator (e.g. external consultant, internal evaluator)
External Consultant
Evaluation results (Process evaluation)

The international practice shows that long term efficiency of such prevention campaigns can only be noticed 25 years after its launch and development. However, the current campaign reached its short-term targets:

  1. positive messages in mass media as well as positive internet comments prove that the campaign was positively received and messages understood by the target audience and drug prevention specialists;
  2. big interest of mass media;
  3. the number of visitors to the website www.benarkotiku.lt was eight times higher after the campaign;
  4. internet banners reached more that 300 000 unique visitors and the TV material was viewed at least once by 51% of the target audience;
  5. head masters of schools contacted Drug Control Department under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for more information on the campaign.

Last updated April 2016

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