Quality level: 1
Project "Vognen" [the Caravan] is a subproject under the "Development project on ecstasy prevention conducted in two 'model counties'". The development project was launched by the then Minister of Health as a result of an increasing use of ecstasy, amphetamine and other illicit drugs among Danish young people. The development project was started in August 2000 with Aarhus and North Jutland as model counties. The aim of the development project was to develop and test methods to prevent more young people from using ecstasy and similar drugs. The development project runs over a period of a little more than 2 years and is conducted in cooperation with the counties and the National Board of Health. The development project is branched into various subprojects in each county. The county of North Jutland has launched the "Vognen" project as a targeted peer initiative in the party environments of the four holiday resorts near Blokhus, Løkken, Skagen and Øster Hurup. These resorts are known to attract many young people each year. Under the motto "take a break in the Caravan", qualified young people offered other young people care and information from three mobile homes located near the party environments of the towns in question. The Caravan was open during the summer months 2001 between 11.00 pm and 07.00 am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The concept of the project was to gather hands-on experience with peer communication and at the same time give the young people in the target group a chance to take a break from the party and have an anonymous and serious conversation on drugs and other problems on their mind at a time when the young individual was still affected by the events of the evening.
The use of peer workers is assumed to be relevant given that the workers themselves are part of the same youth culture as the target group and therefore appear as trustworthy and equal in relation to the target group when providing information about drugs. The peer workers are therefore particularly qualified in establishing contact and starting a debate with other young people. At the same time, these young workers are given the chance to reflect on their own behaviour and attitudes whilst gaining more knowledge about drugs. The 20 peer workers were recruited from social educational institutions and the humanities, with their education furnishing them with the qualifications to enter into a dialogue. In order to qualify the young people further, they attended a two-day course in communication, first aid, information about life in a "holiday resort", knowledge about drugs, and they were introduced to a former drug addict. Furthermore, the purpose of the project was discussed. Peer communication is a method under which young people discuss a subject with other young people. The method is being applied to an increasing extent in preventive work, e.g. in relation to alcohol and drug use. In order to gain maximum benefit from the project in the future, collection of experience is vital when applying the method in practice.
The PDF contains the full intervention description including additional contact information.
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