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FreD goes net — Early intervention for young drug users.

Quality level: 2

Summary

FreD goes net is the European development and transfer of the German project ‘FreD — Early intervention in first-time drug offenders’. Structurally, one aim of the project is thus to establish cooperation between the institutions and individuals involved, thereby stabilising the support system by bringing together different institutional tasks. In particular, cooperation between police, judicial authorities, GOs and NGOs active in the field of drug treatment and support is to be established and maintained in the long term. At a behavioural level, the course (intake interview and eight hours of group intervention) aims to encourage young drug consumers (illicit or legal drug) to reflect on and possibly change their consumptive behaviour in order to stop them from drifting into dependency. FreD goes net were implemented in 11 of 12 pilot countries. Altogether, 17 countries of the European Union are involved.

Type of intervention:
prevention
Sub-area:
selective
Setting:
Type of approach:
Target group:
children/young people
Age group:
14 to 21 years, if needed 13 to 25 years.
Annual coverage:
Substances addressed:
cannabis, alcohol, ecstasy, amphetamines, methamphetamines
Evaluation type:
evaluation of intervention planning, outcome evaluation, impact evaluation, process evaluation
Country:
Germany
Start date:
01/11/2007
End date:
31/10/2010

Overall objective

The main aim of the proposed project is to provide adolescents that first come to notice in the context of drug use with a preventive measure and to use a measure of early intervention to protect them from sliding into addiction. As a rule, adolescents only come to notice once they actually display risky drug use behaviour. They can come to the notice of the police, but also school or the workplace. The sensitive situation of being noticed for the first time is used to motivate adolescents to reflect on and, if necessary, change their behaviour by means of a short-term, targeted course (one-on-one interview + eight hour group course divided into 2 or 4 sessions). Participation can be on a voluntary basis or initiated by legal or peer-group pressure. The German project ‘Early Intervention For First Time Noticed Drug Users — FreD’ serves as a model for this project, which is hitherto the sole project in Europe that has been comprehensively evaluated (G. Burkhart, EMCDDA, 2004). This project is to be adapted reflecting the needs of different European countries. Use of early intervention measures requires access to the intended target group. This requires close cooperation between the institutions that identify deviant behaviour (such as the police, schools, workplaces, juvenile courts) and the provider of early intervention. As a rule, such cooperation is not developed in a comprehensive way. Another aim of the project is thus to establish cooperation between the institutions and individuals involved, thereby stabilising the support system by bringing together different institutional tasks. In particular, cooperation between police, judicial authorities, GOs and NGOs active in the field of drug treatment and support is to be established and maintained in the long term, which is so far lacking in many cases.

Abstract

"FreD goes net" is the European development and transfer of the German project “FreD – Early intervention in first-time drug offenders” to 17 countries of the EU. Out of the twelve pilot countries, eleven state that they will continue FreD goes net even after the European project is completed. It is a short intervention and selective addiction prevention programme which was co-financed by the EU Public Health programme and supported by the German Federal Ministry of Health. The project ran over a period of three years (11/2007 to 10/2010), with continuous scientific evaluation provided by the Cologne-based FOGS research institute. The project succeeded in realising the European transfer of the German project “FreD – Early intervention in first-time drug offenders”. It also extended the German FreD approach by including schools and the workplace as additional access routes and trialling the application of the concept in young alcohol consumers. "FreD" was developed in the late 1990s to address the problem of growing numbers of young drug users who did not consider themselves in need of any help and enables the existing support system to reach them by counselling session followed by a short intervention programme after they had been picked up by the police as illegal drug users for the first time (usually on account of cannabis). To "FreD", local drug advice centre are beneficiary in co-operation with police, juvenile court representative and judiciary. One aim of “Fred goes net” is thus to establish cooperation between the institutions and individuals involved, thereby stabilising the support system by bringing together different institutional tasks. Cooperation between police, judicial authorities, GOs and NGOs active in the field of drug treatment and support is to be established and maintained in the long term. At a behavioural level, the course (intake interview and eight hours of group intervention) aims to encourage young drug consumers (illicit or legal drug) to reflect on and possibly change their consumptive behaviour in order to stop them from drifting into dependency. For the majority of participants of the intervention, participation in the course was important. They were able to improve their level of information and knowledge on alcohol and on drug use. They intend to change their attitude to alcohol and drugs or their consumption and use less drugs in future. The majority also intends to quit using drugs. As estimated by the respondents, problem solving competencies and knowledge of the available support system show the greatest level of improvement. Regular completion is a first important indicator of successful participation. 90.6% of participants took part in all course units and properly completed the course. As many as 84.6% stated they would recommend FreD goes net to others. This further confirms that the intervention enjoys a high degree of acceptance.

The PDF contains the full intervention description including additional contact information.

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Page last updated: Friday, 20 January 2012