1. Introduction

Over the last 5 years, YODA has organized many international events dedicated to young activists involved in the NGO’s working in the field of drugs around Europe and beyond. Over these years we learned that there is a great need for systemized program dedicated to increase of professional qualifications and exchange of experience between the people working with young drug users across our region.

To answer this need, in July 2016 we started a series of three workshops, during which we explored the topics that we identified as most crucial for the work of the youth NGO’s working with young people using drugs:

  • Work with young people using drugs problematically
  • Work with young people using drugs recreationally
  • Management in the non-governmental organizations
  • Volunteers – recruitment, cooperation, support of their professional development
  • Utilizing traditional and new media in the work of drug NGO

We invited 10 of our member organizations to join – from Serbia, Montenegro, Poland, Albania, Kosovo, Belgium, Hungary, United Kingdom, Macedonia, Bulgaria – as well as two new partners, coming from Romania and Ukraine. In total, 38 European activists working with young people using drugs participating in our workshops, with 30 participants per workshop on average.

Our meetings were hosted in three cities:

  1. Antwerp, Belgium, where our host-organization was Free Clinic. Here we worked on the topic of young people using drugs problematically.
  2. Warsaw, Poland, where the host was Students’ Drug Policy Initiative. This meeting was dedicated to NGO management and work with volunteers.
  3. Budapest, Hungary, where Hallgatói Drogpolitikai Egyesület (HIDE) took the role of the host, and where we focused on young people using drugs recreationally in the party settings, and how the media can be utilized in the work of youth drug NGO.

The average age of participant was 27 years old, and male to female ratio was 51%-49%.

In this report we put together the most important findings from this project, which we hope you will find useful in your work. If you want to find out more or participate in similar activities in the future, please contact us through our website www.euro-yoda.org

We can’t thank enough all the people and organizations that helped us to make this project happen, especially our hosts, Free Clinic, Students’ Drug Policy Initiative and Hallgatói Drogpolitikai Egyesület.

This project wouldn’t take place without the generous financial support of European Union Erasmus+ Program

erasmus-logo

And Open Society Foundations Global Drug Policy Program

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein

2. Work with young people using drugs problematically


 

2.1 Introduction

Most young people will have easy access to drugs. Different countries will have subcultures with differing patterns of drug use and its context. This is highly dependent on information available to young people, as well as price and availability of drugs. Young people who are well informed and who have access to traditional drugs, such as cannabis or MDMA, will prefer these drugs as they know ultimately they are less harmful compared to unknown Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS). Although majority of drug use will be non-problematic, young people are at a higher risk for problematic or dangerous use because of:

  • Lack of access to opportunity
  • Boredom
  • Easy access to drugs
  • Poly drug use
  • Lack of access to unbiased information
  • Lack of access to harm reduction
  • Lack of access to treatment and support

Unfortunately, many services, if they exist at all, for prevention and treatment of problematic drug use, are often tailored to older users and not for the types of drugs and the contexts in which young people use them. This can lead to issues of accessibility for younger users who feel that these services are not suitable for them and their needs. Other problems can arise such as older users negatively influencing younger users by exposing them to different types of drugs and even to their drug dealers. However, there are several ways that young people can have their needs met and be supported no matter what type of drug use they may decide to engage in.

 

2.2 Drop-in centers

Drop in centers have a number of services and professionals who can support the needs of individuals who use drugs and the associated issues related to problematic drug use. The main aim of Drop-In centre will be to help minimize harm and provide support to those who already engage in or at risk of problematic drug use. Drug use is not isolated behavior and so a holistic and multidisciplinary approach should be taken when tailoring to the needs of the people who come to a drop-in centre. The people who use these services are often referred to as clients.

For a Drop in centre to run efficiently, easily accessible and beneficial for those who wish to use it they would be:

  • Open every day
  • Have experienced staff and healthcare professionals available when needed
  • Be easily accessible
  • Maintain privacy and anonymity for their clients (the young people)
  • Maintain privacy and anonymity for their clients (the young people)
  • Support of the community
  • Respect human rights and individual choice

Services a Drop in Centre should be able to provide could range from basic harm reduction to treatment and counselling.

  • Drug testing
  • Needle exchange services
  • Information about recreational and problematic drug use, including poly drug use
  • Associated services such as sexual health harm reduction and testing services
  • Counselling
  • Professional healthcare- experienced and well trained medical persons including doctors, nurses and psychiatrists for mental and physical health and wellbeing.
  • A well trained and engaged volunteer and support team to run the centre and outreach programme
  • Signposts to other social services such as support in finding work, education and homes.

In an ideal world, a well-funded drop in centre would exist and be able to provide, at minimum, all of the services as outlined above. In reality, there are often many issues to overcome, not only to establish but to maintain the operation of a drop in centre. There can be difficulties in finding a suitable location and building, lack of support from the community, and lack of funding. However, a number of steps can be taken using the limited resources available. Well thought out allocation of these limited resources can still provide the much-needed support young people need.

Some ways to tackle the issue of limited resources and support:

Engage with the community
Work on issues related to establishing or running a drop in centre- address any concerns in a reasonable manner
Work with the media/Protection from the media
There will be aspects of the media that will be highly critical of the work of Drop in center, particularly if it is working with young people. Engaging with the media to ensure that accurate information is published, even through self publication, and to maintain the privacy of the people who come to the clinic is essential for maintaining a good standard of service.
Advocate
Advocate for the values of human rights, access to public health for all, and evidenced based policy that respects and protects young people from harm. This will ensure a healthy dialogue between opposing voices and help in efforts to create a safer community for all.
Volunteers
Where funding and availability of experienced staff is limited, create a good volunteer programme. This should train and retain motivated volunteers who can support the services as well as gain useful skills while serving the community.
Signposting
Where certain services can’t be provided, other places where those services are available should be signposted. These other services should be appropriate and relevant to the needs of the clients of the drop in centre. A good network of organisations and a strong alliance will ensure the best available support for clients.
Outreach programme
An associated outreach programme (see next section) should exist to improve accessibility for hard to reach young people. Although no one should ever be forced to access any of the services, they should be well known and accessible to those who may need to use them. An outreach programme is a good starting point.

 

2.3 Outreach/streetwork

Outreach work has slightly different definitions in different countries, but ultimately its aim is to contact and work with hard to reach groups. Often this is the only way to contact the most vulnerable and hidden groups that are most at risk for many of the negative consequences of life that can lead to problematic drug use.

There are many young people who may not access services at an established facility such as a drop-in center for several reasons. These can include:

  • Highly marginalized young people such as the homeless
  • They do not have the means to get to a drop-in center, or appropriate healthcare or social support facilityFinancial difficulties and/or the facility is too far away
  • They are not aware of the facility
  • They may feel that they would face discrimination or lack of understanding about their situation from the people working at the facilityThis is a common barrier to access. Many healthcare professionals, for example, are simply not trained or experienced enough into the patterns of substance use and the context of the substance use that young people experience. There can be a ‘culture clash’, can the staff members relate or recognize the unique complexity of issues that young person may face.
  • They do not know what the facility may have to offer that would make it worth going to
  • They are not interested in accessing the services or support the facility has to offer
  • They do not want to be seen accessing the facility for fear of reprisal or some other danger

For these reasons, and more, outreach work, also known as street outreach work, is an essential part of any harm reduction service. Outreach work involves a team of experienced people who will go out into specific areas of the town/city and seek out young people who may be at risk of problematic substance use. It’s a fairly low cost way of reaching out to young people who otherwise would know about or come to the facility.

There are a few things to remember to make the best out of street outreach work:

  • Be a friend and someone they can trust- no judgement, no attitude and a lot of patienceMany of the young people have led very difficult lives and are very wary of strangers coming and telling them how to act or behave!
  • The key is to be there for the young people- be a caring and sympathetic ear – Be present in their situationTo access the facility and its services is always their choice, the outreach worker should never force the young person to go or feel pressured.
  • Young people can relate to other young people better, so it’s good to have well trained and experienced young people on the outreach team too
  • Be equippedPaper, pen, a charged phone and some essential harm reduction materials
  • Regular outreach work is necessary

 

2.4 Treatment and counseling

Treatment and counselling for young people who use drugs is very limited. Often healthcare professionals are not well informed or trained on the unique set of issues that affect young people.

Data, particularly around young people who use drugs problematically, is often localised to a select few centres around Europe who collect in-house statistics which is confidential. Other major studies looking at young persons drug use tend to study much younger users, early to mid teens, rather than the types of users we define as young people (18-30). There are rare examples of centres that not only cater for younger drug users, but for the types of drugs that they are more likely to take, ie not heroin. The Club Drug Clinic in London is a good example of specialised treatment and counselling services available for young people who have potential for, or established, problematic drug use.

Issues in availability of treatment and counselling services for young people from teenagers to very early thirties) include:

Legal issues
Issues around the laws of access to treatment at certain ages and who else knows about accessing treatment, for example parents being informed.
Privacy and confidentiality
In some places young people cannot rely on safe and private access to treatment- data can be shared and sometimes
Lack of access to treatment and counselling
Treatment and counselling for the needs of young people is simply not available in most places.
Poor quality/availability of services if available
Limited funding and resources can mean that places offering treatment and counselling can only do so at a basic level, for a limited amount of time, and for a certain amount of people at any time.
Lack of training and experience of healthcare professionals
The contexts in which young people use drugs, the differing combinations, the associated issues such as sexual health, are often far beyond the scope of teaching and training of most healthcare professionals. They are not aware of trends and behaviours around young peoples use which can make young people feel they cannot gain any meaningful help from such professionals who may not even know what the drugs are, let alone how to treat them.
Limited funding and investment
Most countries have very small proportion of their public health budgets dedicated to drugs. The available treatment and counselling will often be part of an old system catering to the needs of older users who use completely different drugs to most young people and in a very different context. These services are at great threat of closure, particularly in difficult political and economic times. Due to lack of data and understanding of young people’s needs, there is no investment in developing quality services for them.
Denial/ignorance of the problem
Often public officials would prefer to not acknowledge the existence or severity of any problem related to young people and drug use. If there is no problem, there is no need for any service!

 

The available services that take a progressive approach to treating young people have a few basic features that makes them particularly good at providing easy access to treatment and counselling:

Low threshold
Young people can easily make an appointment or access a drop in centre any time to get treatment immediately with minimal hassle
Peer support groups
Peer support and group programmes often are quite helpful as counselling and treatment for certain types of drug use as it allows for other young people to relate and share experiences.
Separate service for young people
Young people identify differently when comparing themselves as drug users and do not see themselves as ‚the same’ as other drug users. Older users, and older users of different drugs should have separate facilities. Young people can access a specialized serviced tailored to their needs with experienced staff who understand what young people need.

 

3. Work with young people using drugs recreationally in party settings

 

3.1 Introduction

Recreational drug use is popular among young people, and this is highly prevalent in nightlife settings and festivals. The Global Drug Survey, the largest survey on drug use in the world, provides a number of useful insights into the state of recreational drug use, particularly among young people. The mean age of respondents is 25 years old. Over half of respondents are regularly going out into nightlife settings such as clubs and over 70% have used any type of illicit substance over the last year. Many of the respondents, 65%, are highly educated with a university degree or higher.

Although recreational use is common among young people, there are consequences to the emerging trends of increased purity and availability of drugs such as MDMA. Many reports of drug related deaths in nightlife settings can be easily avoided with effective harm reduction interventions such as testing, access to water and information about dosing. Public and community based interventions to protect young people’s lives, whether they are using or not, should be sufficient to protect them from the real harms they face and even death. Among some of the risk factors for potentially problematic and dangerous drug use:

  • Poly drug use
  • Risk of adulterants in drugs
  • Increased purity and strength, which is unknown to the user
  • Unknown/mislabelled drugs
  • Lack of information about drugs being consumed
  • Lack of information about responsible and over use

Outreach work in parties, clubs and festivals is one of a number of activities that can help minimize harm and prevent deaths in recreational settings.

 

3.2 Party outreach

Party outreach is providing harm reduction and related services where many young will consume drugs- at parties! It is a type of safety net where it is most needed. Parties can be anything from unknown squat raves to clubs to larger festivals. Party outreach involves activities and services often related to harm reduction, overdose prevention and response. It often includes volunteers, but they should be appropriately trained and managed. Good party outreach would include:

  • Drug testing
  • Information about safer drug use
  • A safe space for people to be supported through any negative consequences of drug use
  • Water
  • First aid
  • Experienced and trained healthcare professionals who are able to respond to an emergency

 

3.3 Helping people with difficult psychedelic experience

Harm reduction work is one of many ways to respond to substance use and is relevant to the majority of people who use drugs non-problematically. Different subcultures tend to use different combinations of drugs. Certain substances, however, are very niche in terms of the people and settings in which they are used. Psychedelic substances are specifically mind altering to the point in which a connection to reality is markedly different compared to the types of effects from other recreational drugs. Often psychedelics are likely to be used in festival settings that are isolated and outdoors, far from emergency services. These factors make psychedelic harm reduction to be well tailored to ensure safe use.

There are a number of useful materials to bring for psychedelic harm reduction:

peryphernelia_600

For those who are dealing with a difficult psychedelic experience meaningful communication is often not possible so the following steps can be taken to help:

  • Provide a safe and comfortable space to ‘ride out’ the effects
  • Trained volunteers and staff to help guide/sit with someone (if needed) who is having a difficult experience- reassurance
  • Provide water as needed
  • Tend to any immediate injuries with first aid
  • Work closely with any available medical personnel and avoid use of strong pharmaceutical intervention – there is a risk of further adverse reactions
  • Workers should be calm, rested, healthy and sober

 

4. Work with volunteers

 

4.1 Introduction

Organisations that advocate for and provide any services for the benefit of young people who use drugs are mostly not only young persons led but also have many volunteers. A team of well trained and motivated volunteers will be of mutual benefit to the volunteers gaining valuable skills and experiences benefiting their communities, but also to the organizations that seek to provide the services to achieve this.

Working with volunteers is beneficial for any organization because of:

Good publicity
Supportive volunteers will provide good publicity for the organisation and its work
Limited resources
Lack of funding means volunteers are essential to keep an organization functioning
Insights
Often young people who volunteer will have the experiences and relatability to provide youth led harm reduction and outreach services
Accountability
Volunteers can provide outsider perspective to the way an organization runs and provide valuable input
Excitement
Volunteers can bring energy and enthusiasm to an organization often stretched to capacity and with workers at risk of burnout

 

Working with volunteers may present challenges:

High turnaround
Young people have several unique situational circumstances which lead to high rates of dropout from voluntary work

  • Financial instability
  • Life changes- university, changes in jobs, insecure jobs, lack of employment, personal issues
  • Lack of independence or other people depending on them
Lack of skills/Experience
Many younger people may need much more support and training to deliver services or do other administrative/logistical work in an organization
Timing and availability
Because of rapidly changing personal circumstances, especially for young people still in education and training, there are many points in the academic year that will make it difficult access the help of volunteers
Lack of communication
Volunteers can provide outsider perspective to the way an organization runs and provide valuable input
Establishing an appropriate and effective means of communicating with volunteers can be difficult
Volunteers can bring energy and enthusiasm to an organization often stretched to capacity and with workers at risk of burnout

 

By developing a solid volunteer programme an organisation can still overcome these issues and easily adapt to changes in circumstances as they arise. A good programme will consider:

WHAT work the volunteers would need to undertake
WHY does the organization need volunteers to undertake this work
WHERE volunteers are expected to work
WHEN volunteers are needed
HOW volunteers will benefit and what support they will receive

 

Volunteer management will include recruitment (Pre volunteering) , support training and qualification and evaluation volunteering) and an Alumni network (post volunteering)

diagram_duzy

 

4.2.How to get volunteers involved

It is easy to get volunteers involved if

  • Financial instability
  • Life changes- university, changes in jobs, insecure jobs, lack of employment, personal issues
  • Lack of independence or other people depending on them

 

Avenues that can be used to recruit volunteers:

University campuses
societies and courses related to the issues the organisation deals with (medicine, law, social work, psychology etc)
Outreach work and advocacy
The work of the organization itself, which can include presence at or running events, can entice new volunteers who want to do the same thing
Media
Social media and traditional media campaigns
Conferences and other events
Presence at conferences and events that are related to the work of issue stehorgansiation deals with will also mean that other people likely to be interested in volunteering will be able to find out more
Outsider avenues
Public/private spaces to advertise for volunteers (e.g. cafes, galleries)

 

Most probably you and your colleagues have started to work in the drug NGO as volunteers too. Ask yourself and discuss with your team what your motivations are and if you would find the volunteer recruitment strategy you are working on attractive, if you were approached that way few years ago.

There are many young people out there who have been negatively affected by drugs or drug policies, or have somebody like that in their social circle. People who have been arrested for minor drug possession, lost a friend to drug overdose, or have a history of recreational or problematic drug use will likely understand how important the work of your organisation is – make sure to look for the volunteers among your clients, as they already have some knowledge of the field you work in and motivation.

 

4.3 Management

Good management of volunteers comes from experience and training. There are many freely available resources to learn about volunteer management and examples of best practice.

Management of volunteers requires:

Communication
societies and courses related to the issues the organisation deals with (medicine, law, social work, psychology etc)
Feedback
  • Evaluation of tasks of volunteers and how volunteers can improve
  • Evaluation of how they can get better support from management
Atmosphere
Unlike as in for-profit entities, volunteers join your organisation for reasons other than financial. Do your best to turn your volunteers into group of friends, who feel good working with you and one another. This will not only improve the vibe of your organisation, but also provide better work outcomes.
Clear responsibilities and deadlines
  • Introduce new volunteers to their responsibilities carefully, they need to know exactly what they need to do, how and why
  • With every new project or activity, have a meeting with your team, where together you will split the tasks between you
  • Whenever possible set a clear timeline and end date of a task. Do not set the deadline for your volunteers to finish their work on the same date when the work is due – some of them may be late or their work may require some changes.
Patience and appreciation
  • Volunteers do their work because they want to, not because they have to. Apart from work with your organisation they have their job, school and social life. You are right to expect them to finalize the tasks they agreed to take, but keep in mind that there may be some delays or you will need to switch person assigned to particular work. Plan ahead.
  • Volunteers dedicate their free time to your organisation. Make sure you let them know how appreciated their work is.

 

There are plenty of tools that can help you with project management. The most basic one is a simple Gantt chart, where you put the specific tasks from the project on the timeline.

gantt-chart

However, nowadays there is a lot of online tools, that will help you to measure project progress, and remind what is left to be done in the real time. Some of the most common are: Team Work, Asana, or simply a well-updated Google Calendar.

 

4.4 Increasing their qualifications

Young volunteers will greatly benefit from the experiences many organsations have to offer. A number of skills can be developed which can help volunteers if they wish to continue into any other for the benefit of career or otherwise. Identifying tasks that will improve skills and how they will do so can help volunteers and management track progress. Some examples include:

  • Communication
  • Research
  • Advocacy
  • Outreach
  • Management
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork

Volunteers who show dedication, motivation and development of skills can be identified for further specialist training which requires extra investment from an organization. These volunteers who have demonstrated a keen interest will be most suited for additional training and qualifications which will help advance the goals of the organisation too. Limited resources of most youth organsations place extra pressure on developing good volunteer management programmes in order to make sure any investment in training in skills development will be of use to both volunteer and the cause they are volunteering for.

Make sure to check the SALTO-YOUTH calendar, where you can look for the trainings that you find relevant to the work of your organisation. Tens of trainings take place each year under this program, covering issues such as work with the youth, social work or health. Costs of the trainings are usually covered by the organizers!
https://www.salto-youth.net/tools/european-training-calendar/

Great way to increase professional qualifications, travel, make new contacts and improve the language skills of your volunteers is for them to work in an NGO in other European country for few weeks or months. If you think your volunteers could benefit from this you can contact us at YODA and we will help to look for volunteer opportunities around European drug NGOs working with young people. It is also possible for the costs of such activity to be covered by EU Erasmus+ European Voluntary Service – make sure to check with your E+ national agency https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/contact_en or look for existing projects here https://europa.eu/youth/volunteering/project_en

 

5. Drug NGO presence and work in media

Working with people who use drugs is a controversial area and whether or not an organization wants to be in the media, the media will always show an interest. All media sources have an agenda and it is important to build good relationships with journalists and reporters from various media outlets as and where possible. In order to have some control over the narrative, it is also important for an organization to produce its own content. Original content can be used to counteract any negative media interest and highlight all the good work being done. This is why it is important to make sure staff and volunteers are well prepared.

The work of NGOs in the media is always framed as a story. Make sure the story is interesting and engaging as well as informative can be challenging.

For young people working to create original content is one of the best strategies in getting the message out there, alongside doing interviews and taking part in documentaries.

When creating content you should:

  • Creating an interesting story
  • Making sure you have the facts right
  • Be original
  • Consider your message and the audience- what is appropriate

It is easy to learn how to take videos as most of us can do this on our phones even. Even short clips and mini stories can help- this is video advocacy. If your post goes viral then media wil pick it up and the message can get very far and have a huge influence. In turn pressure can be put on people in positions of power and a real change can happen. Drug reporter have any examples of this type of video advocacy and how it can have a huge impact – it is a great starting point to get ideas and learn more about how to this this work properly.

 

5.1 Social media

Social media is a great way to create original content for little to no cost. This can include:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Website blogs

 

These avenues are useful to spread a certain message and can be used as effective campaigning tools, particularly if the campaign or a post goes viral.

Any type of media work should always consider the message. When posting original or reposted content consider:

  • What is being posted?
  • Is it at a time that people are likely to see it?
  • Why is it being posted?
  • Is the information/message credible/interesting/reliable/accurate?

 

And when working with hidden, vulnerable, stigmatised and marginalised communities it is especially important to ALWAYS respect confidentiality and privacy.

Young people are very active on many different types of social media and it is useful to understand what each social media platform has to offer. Pictures and short videos are often much better received than long texts or articles. HIghlightig the work of your organization using these platforms is essential so creating and updating content is necessary. You may even wish to dedicate a person or small team to keeping the flow of good quality content going. If people can see what you are doing and follow the story of your campaigns, advocacy or ay other type of work, they can be interested in supporting your organization or even in getting involved. Many oppurtunities can arise from good social media strategy. There are a number of online sources you can use to think about to use social media to your advantage

 

5.2 Traditional media

Traditional media includes newspapers, T.V. interviews and programmes, film and radio. Media training is absolutely essential and a protocol should be in place in the event any external media try and contact or interact with the organization. Even volunteers should have media training, even if is as basic as directing any media to the designated individual or team who handle their requests.

When an issue is raised or a new campaign is rolled out, creating a ‘brief’ to send to journalists can help influence the story being told. Establishing a good rapport with journalists and making sure a brief follows a simple formula will increase the likelihood busy journalists will use it in their work.

For TV and radio media training is necessary. By doing internal training beforehand, anyone designated to be a spokesperson for the organsation take the following steps to improve their interaction with media

Practice with difficult questions
Challenging and provocative questions that may come up
Learn as much about the context as possible
Understand key arguments around the issue being discussed including any statistics that can be used by all sides
Try recording mock interviews beforehand
And then reviewing it with colleges for constructive critical feedback
Practice delivering the key message
An interview can be manipulated to allow for a platform to deliver any key message related to the issue at hand.

 

Live interviews can be trickier although practice is definitely a sure way to help deal with this.
Most interviews won’t be live and if a mistake is made it can be corrected if the response is not smooth- the media will want soundbites- then they will not use it.

Avoid getting overwhelmed by:

  • Practicing beforehand
  • Remaining calm
  • Taking time to gather thoughts

 

If you feel that your organisation could use a professional training on how to utilize the media in your work, you can contact Rights Reporter Foundation, that supports NGOs just like yours in many areas related to the media http://www.rightsreporter.net/

 

6. Summary

The field we are involved in is definitely not an easy one, with a great need from us to provide essential services to the youth in different circumstances, countries, life situations. We hope that information provided in this publication will be useful for you, and you will find them applicable in your everyday work. Outcomes of this project are the result of work of tens of experienced and dedicated activists, coming from 12 European countries, who are working in organisations of very different profiles: some with recreational drug users in clubs, some with homeless young people using drugs IV, some with the incarcerated youth.

Our goal was to enable all of them to exchange their unique experience in order to improve their work in existing areas and prepare for incoming challenges. To achieved this we traveled through the streets of Antwerp’s Red Light district, offices of drug NGO’s in Warsaw and rave parties in Budapest.

While the challenges that organisations working with young people in the field of drugs face are very different, considering the geographical location and the types of work that said NGO’s
are doing, we found out that there are certain fundamental things that are common between them.

  • Young people need drug services and drug policies that are unique, different from those dedicated to other groups
  • NGO’s working in this field need to acknowledge these differences and provide services that are meeting young people needs. These needs have to be discovered through direct work with young clients and their involvement at all levels
  • Drug NGO’s need to put pressure on policy-makers at local, national and European level to recognize what the effects of their policies currently are on young people and how they can be improved
  • It is extremely important to ensure that organisations working in this field, despite harsh conditions they are working in, keep themselves to certain professional standards, and cooperate with one another to improve them
  • Constant communication and cooperation is required between drug NGO’s working with the youth in order to share experiences, improve the quality of work and be prepared for challenges that other organisations already found solutions to

 

If you, or your organisation, would like to get involved in similar activities in the future, please contact us at contact@euro-yoda.org


Resources

• “Opening Doors” Enhancing Youth Friendly Harm Reduction: A toolkit. Chiang Mai, October 2011. Access Quality International (AQI)
• http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/best-practice
• Dat2 PsyHelp manual: A Pratical guide to Harm reduction at parties and Festivals. Levente Moro, Aidis Stukas
• https://www.ncvo.org.uk/ncvo-volunteering
• https://knowhownonprofit.org/
• http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/structure/volunteers/involving/main