Energy Control (EC)

Contact name: 
Nuria Calzada
Coordinator of Energy Control Project
Asociacion Bienestar y Desarollo (ABD)
(+34) 93 289 05 30
Energy Control - Asociacion Bienestar y Desarrollo C/ Quevedo, 2 bajos, Spain
(+34) 93 325 68 35



Energy Control is a response to new consumption patterns that appeared in Spain in the nineties, and especially to those related to synthetic drug consumption. This project intends to engage a hard-to-reach population who may be reluctant to listen to intermediaries. Energy control is based in Barcelona but has other sites in Madrid and Mallorca. The project targets alcohol and drug consumers and potential consumers.


Informing, sensitizing and recucing health risks in nightlife.


Energy Control consists of 120 volunteers who work within a preventive action model, offering objective, real and useful knowledge about drugs, in a friendly manner and through peer-to-peer communication to improve the effectiveness of information.


Volunteer education, on-site interventions, dissemination of brochures/leaflets, drugtesting and breath alchohol testing have all been evaluated.

Intervention details

Type of intervention
Selective prevention, Harm reduction
Problem addressed
Illegal drugs, Alcohol, Overdosing, Drug adulterations
Intervention setting
Club/ disco/ afters
Youth clubs
Mass Media
Round tables
Target population
  • Within further education: Potential alcohol and drug consumers between 14 and 35, both genders.
  • On site: recreational alcohol and drug consumers between 16 and 30, both genders
  • People related to drug consumers (friends, parents), all ages, all genders.
Substances adressed
All substances
Chemical RCs
Strategic target group (social agents acting as intermediaries between intervention and target group)
  • Peers
  • Educators, Social workers, Parents
  • Nightlife professionals/ promoters
Intervention activities
Providing information
Peer-group approach
Informative talk or lecture
Use of media
Use of Internet and other new technologies
Volunteer education;On-site interventions;Dissemination of brochures/leaflets;Communication of scientific publications;Further education and workshops for pupils, students, parents, experts.
Theory/evidence behind the intervention

As EC works in different fields of risk reduction and with different target groups there are references to various theories. The main theory is based on risk reduction, that promotes self-responsibility and auto-regulating mechanisms of (potential) drug consumers. The task carried out by the group "Energy Control" is based on the need to convey objective information about drugs to younger sectors of the population in order to build up a positive image.

Number of people needed
Clubs: minimum 2, Raves: minimum 3, Festivals: 4-12 (depends on type of event and intervention)
Specific training required?
Knowledge about the project activities, basic substance knowledge, basic computer skills, knowledge of drug testing
Time required to run
A typical intervention in a club takes 3 hours of organization/coordination and preparation, 6-8 hours of intervention, and X hours travel (depending on the geographical setting). The frequency and duration of the activities depends on each session
Other resource requirements
  • Alcohol breath tester
  • Drugtesting reactives
  • Portable Bluetooth Server

Evaluation details

Evaluation type (e.g. process, outcome, cost-effectiveness)
EC uses a mixed model of process and outcome evaluation.
Activities evaluated
  • Volunteer education
  • On-site interventions
  • Dissemination of brochures/leaflets
  • Drugtesting
  • Breath Alchohol Testing
Type of evaluator (e.g. external consultant, internal evaluator)
Evaluation results (Process evaluation)

The evaluation results were positive. The objectives were mainly reached with the available resources and activities. The appraisal of the youngsters concerning EC was in general very positive and the popularity of the material exceeded our expectations. The material is even used by young people when they want to pass on information to their peers. 237,000 information leaflets were dispersed across 195 events on different locations in Spain. More than 250,000 people were reached. 50 clubs were trained about responsible consumption of alcohol, how to create a safe party environment and the setup of a permanent prevention stand. 116 prevention guides concerning the security of party locations were distributed to them. 61 prevention guides were dispersed about responsible alcohol consumption (61 copies dispersed) and three clubs organized training for their staff. In addition, 60,000 copies of the prevention materials were spread by 35 prevention stands in clubs.EC also conducted 1095 analyses of illegal drugs by means of TLC and 2386 analyses with a quicktest (colourtest / marquis).