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.

Drug Helplines:

  • 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