Annex to the Recommendations of the Civil Society Forum on Drugs
Prevention and harm reduction in recreational settings
“High prevalence levels of polydrug use in recreational settings, such as clubs, festivals or raves, make them important environments for implementing prevention and harm-reduction measures”1.
« A healthy settings approach to nightclubs allows environmental issues and substance use to be tackled together. Growth in international travel associated with nightlife and the additional risks posed by nightclubbing in an unfamiliar country mean that both interventions are now required on an international basis »2.
« The emergence of new substances and trends force us to develop new responses rapidly. Drug checking programs allow to detect unexpected adulterants or new synthetic drugs, facilitate the contact with drug users and gives more credibility to Harm Reduction messages »3.
The Council of the European Union invites the Member Sates4:
- to consider the introduction of mandatory safety features and recommended or mandatory hygienic measures in recreational settings such as ensuring unlimited and free access to water, the availability of cool-down/ chill-out rooms, the availability of alternative transportation, the limitation of access to clubs for the under aged, etc;
- to ensure the effectiveness and proper implementation of these interventions, by basing them on an inclusive and transversal approach which involves full participation of key stakeholders, including – inter alia – nightlife industry, emergency and prevention services, the police and participants in recreational settings ;
- to facilitate and encourage the collaboration at local level of emergency services, health and social services, the police and the recreational sector, by developing cooperation protocols and procedures in case of incidents;
- promoting and encouraging the development of training opportunities for personnel from public health and law enforcement services, as well as for staff in recreational establishments, targeting specifically preventive and risk reduction measures in recreational settings, including in the case of acute health problems;
The Member States should support at the local level the integrated partnerships implementing health promotion among partygoers and measures for safer recreational settings through the development of training opportunities for staff in recreational venues, safer party labels and peer education approaches;
The European Commission, the EMCDDA and Member States should support the development of drug checking programmes and the exchange of results among field stakeholders at the European level;
The European Commission and the Member States should support practice sharing at the European level among stakeholders involved in safer nightlife activities in order to improve their practices and adapt their responses to partygoers’ mobility (nightlife tourism).
1 Selected issues (2009) Polydrug use: patterns and responses. Lisbon: EMCDDA
2 B.A. Miller, H.D. Holder & R.B. Voas. (2009). Environmental strategies for prevention of drug use and risks in clubs. Journal of Substance Use.
3 Benshop A, Rabes, M. and Korf, D.J.(2003) Pill testing, ecstasy and prevention : a scientific evaluation in three european cities. Amsterdam.
4 Conclusions on the prevention and reduction of health and social risks associated with the use of illicit drugs in recreational settings – 3043rd JUSTICE and HOME AFFAIRS Council meeting Brussels, 8 and 9 November 2010.