Social Networking Prevention Project
To engage with young adults in the virtual space to provide factual, preventative education messages in respect of 'new' emerging substances.
To encourage young adults to engage virtually and concretely as educators, within their peer, social networks.
April 2011 - March 2012
Airedale Voluntary Drug and Alcohol Agency - Project 6
There are groups of young adults who congregate in public spaces to use a combination of alcohol and newer illicit substances, e.g. Mephedrone. These young adults are in established friendship networks and are engaging in communal risky behaviour. They are doing so with little or no knowledge of the effects of these drugs, or of the adverse consequences associated with their use.
The project will engage directly with these young adults - using social networking media as the mechanisim - to provide factual information about these drugs and the dangers associated with their use.
Additionally, we will seek to engage peer leaders to champion the information and to signpost those young adults who need it to access structured brief interventions, available at our service, to help them overcome any consequent dependency problem they suffer.
Engage 200 young adults on social networkinbg sites by October 2011
Activities» Establish and socially market a presence on relevany social networking sites utilised by young adults providing factual, real-time drug information
Success will be the establishment of the peer prevention social networking site with 200 youing adults registered as members, engaging weekly with the site
Infrom 1000 young adults about the effect and consequences of 'new' drug use by March 2012
Activities» Provide real-time updates of factual infromation about 'emerging' substances to the virtual community ensuring 'best' choices are made
Success will be the monitored use of the network by at least 1000 young adults over the period. We anticipate that many more will access the information
Establish a peer eductaor cohort of twenty young adults enabled to disseminate best advice to peers
Activities» Identify and 'train' peer leaders from within the cohort by tracking and monitoring interaction with their peers providing real-time advice/support
Success will be the regular engagement of twenty peer leaders > three times weekly with the network. These young adults will over time 'own' and moderate the network
Young adults will have a substantially better understanding of the effects and potential consequences of the use of 'new' emerging drugs, specifically Cathinones like Mephedrone but also newer synthesised chemical compounds as they enter the 'market'. Ultimately, our aim is to reduce the size of this market and to allow young adults to encourage their peers to resist this type of substance use. Success will be demonstrated by fewer istances of use and 'live' peer-led information dissemination
The key risk relates to the possibility of a public perception that the project provides young adults with information on "how to take" drugs. Additionally, there is the risk that young adults will not view the information as credible or relevant to them.
These risks are alternate sides of the same coin. We plan to use the virtual space to penetrate the territory of these young adults, deliver the information as edgily as possible, whilst maintaining a harm minimisation philosophy.
We will provide regular updates to donors on progress and outcome.
We will utilise electronic media to provide these updates. We will produce quarterly data analysis reports - in line with our current practice - to all funding partners. Donor contributions will be acknowledged, as permitted.
Budget - Project Cost: £20,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £6,000 Design Virtual Media design consultant to establish the virtual space presence £2,000 Updater Real time updating of virtual media with evidence-based harm minimisation information and advice £9,000 Peer Educator Providing OCN accredited peer education training (twelve sessions) to the cohort £2,000 Materials Purchase peer eduction training materials £1,000 Expenses To support young adults to engage in the training
Keighley and the surrounding area have high levels of social deprivation and above average numbers of young adults who are designated as NEET. There is limited access to social/community space, consequently increasing numbers of this cohort congregate in open/public spaces - parks, waste-ground, playing fields - to socialise and engage in 'at risk' activities, involving substance use. This intervention offers a 'route out' of these activities and the development of productive social capital
The young adult cohort will have access to 'real', credible and accurate harm minimisation information in a format and using a mechanism - social media in the virtual space - with which they are familiar. They will have the opportunity to develop knowledge and leadership skills to enable them to influence and educate their peers in a positive way. The wider community will benefit from reductions in anti-social behaviour and the increased safety afforded to them in the public space
We are the established drug and alcohol treatment provider in Keighley, West Yorkshire. We provide direct interventions to more than 2000 people each year. Many of the young adults in this cohort have begun to access our speciailst stimulant drug clinics, but often after their substance use has become problematic. We will use our access to this group to provide them with the means to avoid these problems and build a positive future for themselves and their peers
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Rehan has recently joined the organisation and one of his key tasks is the development of our profile using social media in the virtual space
Callum is our resettlement worker, with experience of work with young adults and the development of peer education approaches to behaviour change