An important approach to the implementation of health and social responses to drug problems can be to focus interventions on the specific settings where problems may occur. For this reason, the EMCDDA’s Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide includes a set of miniguides devoted to this topic. This week, the agency is releasing the first three miniguides in this bundle, which explore workplace, community and recreational settings. Miniguides relating to interventions in prisons and schools will follow in the coming weeks.
Workplace settings (Tuesday 29 March)
Responding to drug-related issues in workplace settings is important for a number of reasons. Drug use can have a range of consequences for employees and employers, including: increased rates of accident and injury, higher levels of absenteeism and inappropriate behaviour and a potential economic burden on employers. Factors related to stress at work, or tough physical or uncomfortable working conditions, are among the triggers for drug use in this setting. But workplaces can also provide opportunities for health education on drug use and can help identify employees who are experiencing drug use problems (and refer them to support services). This miniguide reviews these issues and related interventions in the workplace.
Access the workplace settings miniguide here >>
Community settings (Wednesday 30 March)
Local communities can promote bottom-up civic engagement and action and are an important setting for responding to drug problems. Community involvement can ensure that services are relevant to local needs as well as supported by the local population. Drug-related interventions in this setting include the development of drug policies and responses that address public nuisance and harms experienced by communities. They also cover community engagement in providing prevention and harm-reduction activities, including the use of outreach approaches to make contact with those who are not engaged with services. This miniguide discusses important issues when addressing drug use and communities.
Access the community settings miniguide here >>
Recreational settings (Thursday 31 March)
Bars, nightclubs and other recreational venues provide young people with opportunities to socialise and dance. Large music festivals attract thousands of visitors, among whom the use of psychoactive substances is more common than in the general population. Drug and alcohol use in these settings can be associated with a range of health and social problems, including acute intoxication, loss of consciousness, unintentional injury, aggressive behaviour, violence, unsafe sex and sexual violence, and driving under the influence of these substances. This miniguide discusses responses that promote the reduction of risk taking and harms in these settings. Accompanying this miniguide is a ‘Spotlight’ on drug checking.
Access the recreational settings miniguide here >>
Drawing on a fresh global review of the evidence, and insights from 29 countries (27 EU, Turkey and Norway), the EMCDDA miniguides are designed to support policymakers and practitioners in addressing the consequences of drug use. The resources are presented in a digital and modular format, designed to improve accessibility and to be easier to read across a range of devices.
The miniguides are divided into four bundles covering: patterns of use, harms, settings and vulnerable groups. Together, they make up the agency’s latest overview of actions and interventions currently available to respond to the consequences of illicit drug use.