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Recreational Drugs’ European Network: an ICT prevention service addressing the use of novel compounds in vulnerable individuals [ReDNet] [20091216] - Project
General objectives

The main objectives of the ReDNet Research project are:

• to design an innovative and effective ICT-based model to share knowledge and information with health/other professionals and raise awareness of the potential harms associated with new drugs
• to design an innovative and effective ICT-based model to share knowledge and information with health and other professionals and raise awareness of the potential harms associated with new drugs
• to identify and disseminate key recommendations relevant to the development of the awareness on novel compounds initiatives across the EU
• to identify any remaining gaps in knowledge and methodological lessons learned, to inform future projects in the field of drug prevention using ICT tools

Strategic relevance and contribution to the public health programme

During the last decade there has been a sharp change in the social, cultural and political context of drug addiction, which has led to unprecedented new challenges. It has been documented that increasing numbers of unregulated websites are dedicated to the dissemination of novel recreational drugs, which may well have long-term effects on users` health. Unfortunately, young and problematic individuals are amongst the most at risk of taking advantage of online available information. In this context, the ReDNet project will help to inform and promote healthier ways of life while reducing health related risks associated with drug taking. Further, in taking into account the extensive use of ICT tool (mainly the internet)is likely that the proposed activities will create new synergies among health agencies at the national and transnational level as well as help to reduce health inequalities among those who are marginalized and have no immediate access to public health services.

Methods and means

Step 1: Design and preparation of appropriate prevention materials/information to be delivered via a number of ICT tools. Representatives of the target groups will be involved in the content development of the prevention approaches, and the amount of information/style of information will be carefully considered.

Step 2: Dissemination of the information/preventative material via the proposed ICT tools, such as: Websites, Facebook applications, animations for YouTube, Second Life and Smart phones for health professionals.

Step 3: Data collection and analysis. Online surveys/feedback questionnaires will be desgined to measure the efficacy of the piloted ICT tools.

Step 4: Evaluation of the project and writing up of the final report.

Expected outcomes period

The expected outcomes of this project will be both immediate and long lasting. It will constitute the first EU-wide ICT-based preventative programme designed for novel psychoactive compounds/combinations targeted at young and vulnerable individuals. In this sense, it will not only inform and stimulate a much-needed discussion on the rapid and almost unpredictable diffusion of novel compounds, but also contribute to an enhanced scientific understanding of recreational drugs, especially via the publication of results in both peer reviewed journals and international conferences. Furthermore, it is hopeful that the project will be able to offer proper advice to both EU/international agencies and national policy makers.

Start date: 01/04/2010
End date: 01/07/2012
Duration: 27 month(s)
Current status: Finalised
Programme title: Second Programme of Community action in the Field of Health 2008-2013
EC Contribution: € 499 910,60
Portfolio: Illicit drugs