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Scientific Project: ChEck iT!

Quality level: 2

Initial situation

The consumption of Ecstasy, Speed and other illegal psychoactive substances has been rising in the last 10 years in Europe especially in the context of the rave and techno scene. Scientific studies indicate that the use of these substances might result in psychic and physical problems as well as addiction, still Viennese drug counselling centers and general practitioners did not report about contacts with users of synthetic drugs except in very few cases. According to international reports this is due to the fact that user of synthetic drugs do not consider themselves to be drug users and, thus, do not get in contact with "traditional" information and counselling services. Besides the lack of knowledge about the users of these substances, their socio-demographic background and their reasons for use, also scientific data on the type of used substances, components, impurities and admixtures were not available. Moreover, data on the extent of required "harm reduction" measures were missing.

Basic assumptions/theory

To reach the target group is not a sufficient but a necessary requirement for provision of secondary prevention and harm reduction. In order to reach users and interested persons the services of ChEck iT! are provided directly where the target group meets. Flexibility and closeness to the scene are basic requirements for the work. Thus, the target group is contacted where they pass their leisure time with their friends and get in contact with psychoactive substances. In order to attract and get into contact with users the outreach social work is combined with the fast and exact on-site analysis of psychoactive substances. ChEck iT! follows a "accepting approach". Drug use is not approved by ChEck iT! but constitutes the starting point for information and counselling. Users and their needs, problems and concerns are taken serious - this supports the creation of the required trust and confidence. Objective, up-to-date and trustworthy information is the basis for responsible, sustainable and autonomous decisions and changes of behavior. Panic-mongering and rejection of certain ideals and behaviors lead to strengthening of existing opinions and prevent the desired changes of behavior. ChEck iT! offers educational and scene specific knowledge about risks, contents and effects of (supposed) psychoactive substances, about the development of addictive behavior and about alternative strategies of dealing with problems. ChEck iT! tries not to judge but - by accepting the individual - to create a climate that facilitates considerations about problematic situations and supports changes of behavior. The provider of information must have the trust ofthe recipient in order that it is accepted. Emphatic and accepting communication is a basis for building trust. The knowledge created this way is the basis for prevention of problematic consumption patterns. Promotion of behavior that is aware of possible risks by stimulation of reflection about the own consumption behavior is a relevant pre-condition to awareness of problems and risks and - moreover - the willingness for change.

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


Dear visitor,

We're currently conducting a short survey of this resource (EDDRA: Exchange on Drug Demand Reduction Action). The survey will take no more than 2 minutes and we would be really grateful for your contribution.

No, thanks — maybe some other time

Yes, I'll take the survey!

Many thanks,

The EDDRA team


Page last updated: Friday, 20 January 2012