SOM.NIT // The programme history

How we got to where we are

The Red Cross Youth Services´ guiding philosophy is that the best way to improve health is to develop promotion projects that provide resources to young people, enabling them to confront, prevent and/or reduce risks to health. One of the behaviours that can affect health, defined as a state of physical, psychological and social well-being, is the consumption of drugs.  
In keeping with this philosophy, since 1999 we have developed a programme of information, prevention and reduction of risks associated with the consumption of drugs in the autonomous Spanish region of Catalonia (pop 7m).  
A pilot project was initially developed due to fears over the Europe-wide growth of synthetic drug consumption. According to figures from the National Institute of Toxicology, some 500,000 people were using ecstasy every weekend in Spain.  
The project´s administration was placed in the hands of a team of young health workers with training and experience in the area of drugs. The initial phase consisted of data gathering through interviews and questionnaires in nightlife establishments in order to understand the true nature of drug consumption by young people in Barcelona.  
The results revealed that not only was it necessary to offer information on synthetic drugs but that this information would have to be expanded to encompass all types of recreational drugs, including alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, speed, LSD and ketamine.  
Moreover, this same data gathering also revealed that the places most in need of information regarding drug use were nightlife establishments. Consequently the SOM.NIT programme was born whose work continues to the present day.  
Since 1999 SOM.NIT has:
  1. Conducted more than 100 training sessions with some 1800 people qualifying as young health workers
  2. Made more than 1100 risk reduction interventions in nightlife establishments and venues
  3. In the course of these interventions, distributed more than 600,000 preventative materials,including condoms and flyers
  4. Enjoyed the active participation of some 1200 people
  5. Contacted some 60,000 drug users