The Internet is getting the reputation of a newly emerging risk environment for psychoactive substance (ab)use. Virtual drug markets on the Draknet but also online sale of e.g. novel psychoactive substances and prescription medicines in the visible web are certainly contributing to that phenomenon. On the other side there are vast positive aspects of Internet which can be used in responding to nowadays’ menaces. Recent research has shown that online interventions targeting substance abuse have positive effects comparable to the traditional face-to-face interventions. Online interventions also allow for reaching a large target audience in a very cost-efficient way. They are likely to be increasingly developed as an adjunct to traditional drug treatment services, offering a new way to engage with people experiencing drug problems.
Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe is working together with a number of South Eastern European (SEE) countries (Greece, Croatia, Serbia, FYROM, Romania, Bosnia & Herzigovina, Montenegro) to deploy an effective Internet based intervention for the users of illicit drugs in the region. The ration behind this initiative is lying in the fact that use of non-opioid psychoactive substances is growing whilst the available treatment responses in SEE are still mainly oriented towards opioid users. The objective of this regional project is to create an online version of a scientifically validated brief intervention tool and test it in the cultural environment of one country. National adaptations of the internet-based interactive self-assessment tool, which was built on the basis of already existing and scientifically verified test, has not only enabled access to “hard to reach” drug users but will also facilitate a development of connected automated treatment and referral tool for personalized contact.
The purpose of this session is to present online-tools which are are suitable for drug-users and explain why or how they work and why some online-tools are not recommended for active drug users. It whould be also interesting to show up the experiences of Greece in the mentioned project.