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Swiss Research Institute for Public Health and Addiction

Safer Nightlife: Instruments for early detection and early intervention

Summary The nightlife questionnaire, which is used throughout Switzerland in combination with drug checking or voluntarily at information stands at parties, serves to collect data on the consumption behavior of recreational drug users.
Project manager(s) Michael Schaub
Duration 01.2013 – 12.2014
Client / funding partner(s) Bundesamt für Gesundheit (BAG)
Cooperating partner(s) Safer Nightlife Swiss, Infodrog


The problematic use of recreational drugs (synthetic party drugs, cocaine, alcohol, GHB, new substances) among adolescents and young adults is no longer a marginal phenomenon and poses challenges for prevention, therapy and harm reduction. Although there are initial local efforts for the early detection of problematic use in party settings (drug checking and outreach projects in the field of nightlife), the link to early intervention is still hardly lived out.


Within the new project agreement “Early detection and early intervention leisure”, the development of a set of instruments for early intervention in the nightlife sector is planned as a central milestone. These instruments are based on the existing questionnaire and the guideline Nightlife. An “F+F Nightlife” support group led and coordinated by Infordrog was formed with representatives of outreach nightlife projects in all language regions. The development and dissemination of practicable instruments for early intervention, as well as the utilization and exploitation of the data collected by means of questionnaire are the primary goals of this support group. Special attention is paid to national dissemination, multilingualism (D,F,I) and the flexible application of the instruments (electronis versions, modular structure). In principle, an annual evaluation of the questionnaire will be carried out by the ISGF and summarizing final report of the project years 2012-2014. 


Since the beginning of 2012, the Nightlife Questionnaire has been used not only locally, but also in all language regions of Switzerland by institutions specializing in this area for brief consultations. The counselling interview took place both in a party context and in an outpatient counselling setting, at the Zurich Drug Information Center (DIZ). A distinction is made between the completion of the questionnaire at an information stand and the obligatory completion of the questionnaire as part of drug checking. In both cases, data collection was carried out in conjunction with a short counselling session. In addition to socio-demographic variables (age, gender, education, current occupational activity), the questionnaire contains a detailed measurement of the consumption of various psychoactive substances (legal and illegal drugs, psychoactive medicines and new synthetic substances). Lifetime, annual and monthly prevalence, frequency of use in the past month, age at first use and mixed use during a typical party night are recorded.


This is a selective field survey of an exploratory nature, which illustrates consumption and risk behavior of people reached by party drug prevention, harm reduction and drug checking services in Switzerland. The aim of the questionnaire, which has to be completed for every drug checking, is to obtain data on consumption behavior and consumption attitudes of a population that has been scarcely studied so far. The revision of the questionnaire is intended to contribute to an improvement in the information obtained is oriented towards the current needs and habits of the users. 


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