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Sauna forum. Open discussion on drugs, alcohol and addictions . Lotta Lehmusvaara Aino Majava. Sauna forum. Established in January 2001 as part of AddictionLink First discussion forum maintained by public substance abuse service provider

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sauna forum

Sauna forum

Open discussion on

drugs, alcohol and addictions

Lotta Lehmusvaara

Aino Majava

sauna forum2
Sauna forum
  • Established in January 2001 as part of AddictionLink
  • First discussion forum maintained by public substance abuse service provider
  • Funded by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 2000-2003
  • Connected with the national drugs strategy
visitor statistics
Visitor statistics
  • AddictionLink: 20 000–28 00 different visitors per month
  • Sauna: Over 3500 different visitors per month
  • 3786 topics and 65029 messages altogether, plus the AddictionLink archives (2003-11-18)

Statistics according to Web Traffic Monitor service

sauna forum4
Sauna forum
  • Powered by Bulletin Board software (UBB)
concept
Concept
  • Finnish Sauna culture
    • Atmosphere of relaxed opennes
    • Respecting other people
    • Equality
  • But: remember the Sauna code!
    • Moderated on every weekday
sauna consists of
Sauna consists of
  • General forum for discussion about substances and addictions
  • Forum for variable themes and theme related articles
  • Ask an expert -forum
    • Guest of the week: a therapist working in the field of sexual health, a doctor specialized in cannabis-issues, harm reduction expert on iv-drug use etc.
goals
Goals
  • Discussing the pros and cons of substance use
  • Making Finnish drugs discussion more versatile
  • Discussing drugs policies
  • Bringing users and their experiences into the conversation
  • Users' peer to peer support
  • Harm reduction
goals8
Goals
  • Providing users with useful information about latest research (AddictionLink databank, theme forums, articles) and available treatment (virtual counselling, treatment places)
  • Gathering information on drugs cultures and risk behaviour. This information can be used for example in harm reduction and academic purposes.
sauna visitor survey 2003
Sauna visitor survey 2003
  • Internet survey
  • Implemented in June-July 2003
  • Both structured and open questions
  • 222 respondents
    • 48% registered members, 52% non-registered visitors
    • 65% male, 35% female
survey results sauna visitor information
Survey results: Sauna visitor information
  • Sauna visitors are mostly young people
  • 40% are students
  • 77% live in urban area
how sauna discussion has affected your position on substances
How Sauna discussion has affected your position on substances?
  • It has increased my knowledge on alcohol and drugs
  • My attitude towards drugs is more positive
  • It has given me new perspectives to drug use
  • My attitude towards drugs is more negative
  • It has prevented me from trying/using drugs
  • I have learned about safer ways of using drugs
  • I can better understand drug users
  • It has changed my views on drug policies and education
survey results sauna effect on visitors substance use
Survey results: Sauna effect on visitors’ substance use
  • Sauna has encouraged 29% of visitors to try or use some substance they otherwise would not have tried or used
  • 71% reported of no such effect
survey results sauna effect on visitors substance use18
Survey results: Sauna effect on visitors’ substance use
  • Sauna has encouraged 51% of visitors to give up trying or using some substance they otherwise would have tried or used
  • 49% reported of no such effect
survey results what s best in sauna
Survey results: What’s best in Sauna
  • Opennes, freedom of speech
  • Other visitors, ”good guys”
  • Information on substances
  • Many-sidedness, heterogenity
  • Sharing experiences
  • Support of the online community
  • Increased understanding of drug use and drug users
  • AddictionLink information (Infobank etc.)
  • Anonymity
  • Entertainment value
survey results what s worst in sauna
Survey results: What’s worst in Sauna
  • Troublemakers, ”trolls”
  • Too harsh or to loose moderating
  • Drug favouring attitude
  • Visitors’ young age
  • Unqualified or negative “enlighteners”
survey results visitor comments
”Now I know much more about substances and also their harmful effects. I won't go playing with my health, as I used to due to lack of proper drugs education.

On the other hand Sauna discussion has made me become interested in some drugs that I would not otherwise know about." (Female aged 21-26.)

"Sauna is a place where I can be completelely honest to myself and to others. This is a good thing if you have problems with drugs."

(Male aged 15-20.)

”It seems you really cannot speak openly about drug issues. I hope AddictionLink will defend our freedom of speech also in the future!”

(Female aged 21-26.)

Survey results: visitor comments