Karen Hatt Olsen
c/o Rusmiddelcenter Slagelse
+45 29 31 54 97
Profil of the Organisation
Netstof.dk (“onlinedrug.dk”) is a digital addiction prevention service on a national level, targetting adolescents from 14-25 years of age. The platform has been operating since 2012, now has 200.000 users a year (in a 5.6 mio. Population). The project represents a cross-sectoral collaboration between the NGO; Center for Digital Youth Care, and the GO; Drug Addiction Treatment Center Slagelse, and 35 municipalities (out of the 98 municipalities) are paying members of the network - financing the platform.
Ten professionals from seven member municipalities form the advisory board. They are a professionally mixed group of specialists on the drug prevention area - doctor, psychologist and drug treatment counselors with a range of professions. They ensure the quality feed into the future development of the platform, and they staff the pivotal counseling on Netstof.dk.
Responsibility for what region?
Denmark has about 5.6 mio. inhabitants
Main items of content, guidelines in the context of prevention.
The primary goal is that more youngsters receive counseling to ensure mental and physical health and reduce harmful and negative effects of drugs – earlier.
Secondary, Netstof.dk is aimed at the relatives of the adolescents. They often need knowledge of what they can do when, as parents, boyfriends or friends, they want to help a youngster who has a beginning or established abuse.
It is the digital starting point of Netstof.dk make youngsters approach the counselling of the site, as early and as honest as they do. They find professional knowledge where and when they need it. They get serious and professional answers to difficult and often risky issues, and coupled with the anonymity of the Internet it makes them reach out earlier.
Netstof.dk was started with thematic work groups with adolescents and professionals who pointed out, that it is particularly important to offer advice and not just passive information. This became the backdrop for the functionalities and categories of content on the site:
Peer-to-peer debate: Youngsters discuss and share experiences on the forums on MDMA and other substances, hash and alcohol. The debates are playing an important role in the credibility and relevance of the site, as it is here the young users of the site are given the opportunity to express their opinion on drugs and put their own experience into play. The site's forums are monitored by a professional moderator, however, intervention is rarely needed.
Knowledge: The site contains a clear and fact-based lexicon of the most commonly used drugs. It is one of the most visited pages on Netstof.dk. Under each substance you can read about the substance itself, the effect and side effects. In addition to the lexicon, there is an article collection on, among other things, use, dependency and treatment as well as a FAQ.
Counseling: Netstof.dk acquires its strength and authority through the experienced professionals, who are manning the four letterboxes of the site: Doctor, Psychologist, Drug Expert and Relatives. In the letterboxes, youngsters make contact completely anonymously. The anonymity is crucial to their first meeting with a counselor, which is often a big step for them. All questions and answers are published on the site and several of them have been read more than 10.000 times.
“Find Help”: A map of Denmark with contact information to all drug abuse treatment centers and other municipal support and intervention services. ''Find Help'' bridges the digital platform with the physically rooted services in the municipalities.
Experiences in the field of prevention on European level
Netstof was awarded third in European Crime Prevention Award (EUCPN) in 2019. The Jury appreciated the online focus of the project, which potentially allows it to reach a group that is harder to target with traditional methods. In addition, this approach increases the perceived accessibility of health services. Besides, the website does not use fear in its communication which opens up a non-judgmental atmosphere. The project also started out from a thorough needs assessment, a trait the Jury liked in particular.
Netstof has no specific experience in the field of prevention on a European level – yet. But the EUCPN´s assessment of the platforms aplicability to other european contries and Netstofs national professional network, makes a good foundation for common european projects in the future.