Peer-led interventions to deliver health information to ecstasy and related drug (ERDs) users


Peer-led, ecstasy-related harm reduction efforts have become increasingly popular over the past two decades but their efficacy has never been rigorously evaluated. A quasi-experimental study design was utilised over three Australian study sites. Experimental sites were matched as closely as possible with control sites in relation to event size, music style and age range of attendees. The experimental group (n=278) received a unique ecstasy-related health message and general drug-related information while the control group (n=383) received general drug-related information only.The peer education methodology used was effective in disseminating information and the retention of information was relatively enduring. Among the experimental and control group, there were significant decreases in drug involvement at three month follow-up after the intervention, but other explanations for the decrease could not be excluded.The peer education methodology used was an effective health promotion tool among ecstasy users. The influence of peer-led interventions on drug use needs to be addressed by additional, methodologically robust studies. Findings highlight the important considerations for peer-led interventions.