Prevention of poly-drugs addiction and reduction of drug-related harms programs for young people in recreational settings: Case study analysis

Vigano, G
European Commission - Directorate general justice, freedom and security


Issue and ObjectivesThe consumption of drugs in recreational settings is increasing in Europe and it is becoming a growing phenomenon especially among young people. The recreational settings, and in particular the night-life ones, represent the best places where to implement actions for preventing and reducing drug use, dependence and drug-related harms. While in other prevention contexts (i.e. school) many studies and research about the effectiveness of the programmes are available, the knowledge-base is not so developed regarding prevention in recreational settings. This for two main reasons: prevention in recreational settings is at the moment only translated into experimental actions, while prevention in traditional contexts like school, peer groups or local community is not; the traditional methodologies of epidemiological research adopted for the evaluation of prevention programmes are not applicable to these kinds of action, because it is not possible to have a stable sample during time (time-series).The project proposed aimed to fill these knowledge-gaps through research and analysis actions promoted by an interdisciplinary transnational workgroup in order to improve the knowledge base and the exchange of information about the prevention and reduction of drug-related harms programs in recreational environments.ActivitiesLiterature collection, update and analysis and selection of quantitative information available from institutional sources, useful to estimate the phenomenon of addiction in each country and to develop an analytical report about the policies of prevention of poly-drugs use and reduction of drug-related harms targeted to young people in recreational settings.Mapping of prevention programmes in recreational settings in three European contexts, promoted by local health authorities, social private sector organizations or other titled subjects.Definition of criteria for the identification of good practices: during two Focus Group (in each country) and a transnational coordination group, a common discussion was engaged in order to define a set of qualitative and quantitative indicators able to evaluate the effectiveness of the prevention programmes about which data have been collected.Identification of Good Practices and creation of an Album that aimed to exploit the creativity of local welfare (i.e. innovative services in recreational contexts, peer education, counselling, training activities to disco managers and to bouncers, special chill-out rooms, etc.) representing a catalogue of concrete solutions, useful to face common problems and situations, to improve the mutual learning in service networks and to supply to the planning authorities useful suggestions in order to propose new intervention schemes.Results and productsContext analysis: an overview of the present situation of the phenomenon of recreational consumption in three different European countries: Scotland, Italy and Denmark. The context report is structured in three different sections, one for each country, moreover every section highlights the national epidemiological framework and drug use among people aged 15-34, the national addiction policy framework and the national addiction intervention programs and services.Good practices analysis: 20 good practices were selected and studied. The good practices are represented by organizations that promoted and developed prevention projects, programmes or targeted services implemented in recreational and night contexts or actions targeted to so-called recreational consumers.Set of indicators: a set of indicator was defined with the aim to evaluate the effectiveness of prevention projects in recreational settings. The set of indicators was divided into ten dimensions, which represent the main areas of analysis of an intervention program.