Online Interventions for the Selective Prevention of Illicit Drug Use in Young Drug Users: Exploratory Study
Journal of Medical Internet Research
Digital technologies have a major impact on the daily lives of young people and are also used to seek information on and help with drug-related issues online. Objective The aim of this article was to analyze current online interventions for young drug users in Slovenia, with the purpose of contributing to the development of guidelines and key recommendations for effective online interventions. Methods This study was part of the project Click for Support. We performed a keyword search, received
... d search, received input from national experts in the field of drug prevention, and conducted an assessment of recognized national online interventions through workshop-based discussions with the target group of 20 young drug users. Results The current online intervention services in Slovenia are satisfactory but are still not sufficiently recognized. The most important issues for young drug users were the design and functionality of the online intervention, presence of a clear structure, possibility of using it on smartphones, comprehensive and quick professional feedback, and data security. Playful elements and the ability to share (experiences) with other or former users were also recognized as important. Conclusions With effective online interventions, we can include more young drug users, facilitate access to a more affordable service, provide quick professional feedback on patterns of consumption, increase knowledge about the effects and consequences of drugs, and support the reduction or cessation of drug use. From the public health perspective, it is challenging to provide drug interventions broadly to the target group and, hence, decrease inequities.