For more than ten years drug telephone helpline services have played a first line role in the prevention of the harm associated with the use of drugs. Helpline services are both a tool for public health policy and a tool for helping individuals. There are at least ten good reasons for promoting drug helpline services.
- are a cost-effective way of providing information, advice, referral and help
- are a provide first help, easily accessible, available and close to most of the population, as close as the nearest telephone
- are interactive; callers are actively listened to and heard by someone with an understanding of their situation, they are not alone with their problem
- are personalised and adaptable to individual needs, callers are helped to find answers for themselves
- are confidential and ensure anonymity
- are tools for observation of issues regarding use of drugs, new ways of administering drugs, new drugs and other phenomena
- are easy to publicise, making the public aware of their existence and phone number
- respect ethical principles, set out in the form of a Charter
- complement and link into other social and treatment services
- offer a safe and easy first contact with sources of information and with the treatment sector
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