Dance smart ;)

Contact name: 
Simona Šabić
Position: 
professional harm reduction worker
Organization: 
Association DrogArt
Telephone: 
01 439 72 70
Address: 
Precna ulica 6, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
E-Mail: 
Summary

General aim of the intervention is to reduce harms connected with drug use in the nightlife settings in Slovenia. DrogArt peer workers are present at clubs, larger electronic events and open public spaces. They provide basic first aid, distribute info materials, fruit and refreshing drinks and give out harm reduction advice. We provide also counselling service with personal, telephonic and internet counselling (through e-mails and webbased self-help application Reduser), drug checking service with brief councelling and develop different on-line and mobile information tools (for example: DrogApp). We performed process evaluation for different intervention activities on our yearly evaluation meeting. The effectiveness of harm reduction informing work was in several research projects we performed, where users self-reported that they were taking into account harm reduction information they got and using drug less risky after being informed about harm reduction strategies. We plan to prepare more structured evaluation in the future and at that point it would be useful for us to collect some established and effective tools for evaluation in the field of harm reduction in the nightlife settings and youth drug use.

Intervention details

Type of intervention
Harm reduction, Counseling, Treatment & care
Problem addressed
Dehydration / overheating, Illegal drugs, Alcohol, Poly drug use, Drink spiking, Overdosing, Impaired driving, Nuisance, Overcrowding, Unwanted sexual behaviour
Intervention setting
Event
Mass media
Community
Street
Youth clubs
Club/disco/afters
App (smartphone or tablet application)
Internet
Social media
Target population

Target group are youth and young adults, who use drugs in the nightlife settings (partyes), mostly from 15 to 30 years old, both genders.

Strategic target group (social agents acting as intermediaries between intervention and target group)

Education for young people for outreach workers (peers). Training for night professionals (security staff, club owners and employees, event organizers) and other professionals who are working with young people who use drugs (educators, youth workers from other organizations, social workers, ...).

Actions
Nightlife management (policing, security, transport, ...)Providing information(including harm reduction, material production and debate promotion)Self-assessment, self-helpResearch (collection of data to develop concepts and theories that shall guide future preventive interventions)Counseling, help and treatment (interventions focused on giving advice and therapeutic and medical counseling)Pill (drug) - testingUse of media(posters, flyers, gadgets, ...)Peer-group approach (uses same-age or same-background educators to deliver educational messages to a target group)Use of Internet and other new technologiesInformative talk or lecture (the flow of information is unidirectional (e.g. from expert to pupils))dissemination of brochures/leaflets/posters on club events and partieseducation of peer workers, professionals from other organizations/institutions, who encounter drug use within their work and - trainings of nightlife professionals (organizers, club owners and staff, security, ...),drug testing with brief councelling (performing colorimetric drug testing and collecting samples for further analyis in the National forensic laboratory),interactive media: web pages (including user forum), mobile applications, web councelling application, - councelling service (personal/Skype, telephonic and web counselling),internal evaluation (yearly process evaluation),intervisions and supervisions for professional and peer workers
Theory/evidence behind the intervention

The aim is to constantly provide realistic and useful information about the drugs, their effects, risks and consequences of their use. As experience shows, users appreciate "realistic" harm reduction approach and are giving positive feedback about information they get from through the project. When planning and performing our activities, interventions are prepared according to the guidelines and experiences from other institutions (for example EMCDDA guidelines and research publications) and organizations, working on the field of harm reduction in the nightlife settings (the organization is also part of NewNET, where exchange between good practice and experience with other organizations, professionals and peers takes place). However, knowledge is used from different professions working in the core and extended team (social work, social pedagogue, medicine, psychotherapy, chemistry) and are applied in the interventions in the nightlife settings. The basic theories behind the intervention is the concept of harm reduction and communication based on transactional analysis theory and motivational interview, applied to different nightlife environments and working conditions. The councellors are using also CBT techniques. If neccesary, harm-reduction interventions are combined with youth work activities / methods and different psychosocial intervention. It is expected that interventions based on theory and evidence (with adequate adaptation to working environments and dynamics of the nightlife settings) have better effect on users changing behaviour and healthier choices in the frames of harm reduction concept.The good effect of the professional work is also visible in positive oral feedback from users (about the service and also reported changes in pattern of their drug use). In order to maintain professional development, quality of the interventions and discuss ethical dilemmas, connected to the work, regular supervisions are done (professional workers) and intervisions (both professional and peer workers).

Number of people needed
50 (from that 7 proffesional workers; other are peer workers); occasionally cooperation with external professionals
Specific training required?
Peer workers: training about drug and harm reduction information; communication, basic first aid, work etics; professionals: there's no specific training / qualification provided, but a lot of knowledge transfer and experience perfomed inside the organiza
Time required to run
Info point with drug testing service and informing: Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 17.00;field interventions: during the weekend at night (2-8 hours); councelling service(personal): by prior arrangement
Other resource requirements

First aid kit

Evaluation details

Evaluation type (e.g. process, outcome, cost-effectiveness)
Outcome evaluation(scientific research demonstrating whether or not your intervention is effective in making nightlife safer and/or healthier) Process evaluation(A process evaluation documents and analyses the early development and actual implementation of the intervention, assessing whether strategies were implemented as planned and whether expected output was actually produced)
Activities evaluated
  • Field interventions, including dissemination of brochures/leaflets/posters on club events (yearly process evaluation; impact evaluation done in 2005),
  • education of peer workers (satisfaction with the training; prior work peers gained knowledge is being tested by written and oral exam),
  • counselling service (internal evaluation),
  • drug checking service (process evaluation)
Type of evaluator (e.g. external consultant, internal evaluator)
Internal evaluator
Evaluation results (Outcome evaluation)

The process evaluation for different intervention activities was performed on our yearly evaluation meeting, with prepared data of achieved objectives. For 2015 we planned to adapt our field interventions to different enviroments and different user gropus (for example open-air psy parties, electronic events with under-aged visitors, chemsex users). The goal of adaptation of interventions was partly achieved: we adapted intervention on psy parties (with aim to integrate more into psy enviroment and having better contact with the users; 4 interventions performed) and on the electronic events with under-aged visitors, which included longer lasting intervention with continuous presense of the key youth worker (with aim to develop better contact and relationship with younger users) with additional knowledge about motivational interview technique (10 interventions perfomed). Adapting interventions for chemsex users was not implemented, but a cooperation started (mutual project) with two other organizations, working with homosexual population, in order to come into contact with population practicing chemsex and assess the needs of them.

Evaluation results (Other)

Councelling service: internal short term evaluation was performed. By the end of the 2015, 17 % of users successfully achived goals of the treatment (councelling or psychotherapy); 32 % users were still included in the treatment (councelling or psychotherapy); 23 % were included in short personal coucelling (1-3 sessions), 28 % users drop out of the treatment before achieving planned goals. Distribution of brochures, flyers and posters on the field interventions (electronic events): 54,6 % users reported that they take into acount and use harm reduction messages written on our information material (this evaluation was done within research project performed in 2005).

Evaluation references

Coucelling service - evaluation documents (only in Slovene language) are available on this website: http://www.drogart.org/svetovanje/1150/drogart-svetovalnica.html; outcome evaluation of info brochure/leaflets/posters distributions is available in publication (only in Slovene language): Sande M. (ed.). (2007). Na spidu 2. Ljubljana: Združenje DrogArt. For other process evaluations we have only internal reports, which are not available online or in any publication.

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