How to develop a common adherence of all the stakeholders when implementing a drug consumption room?
Thirty years after the first consumption room opened in Switzerland, many other countries opened their own, and very recently new openings occurred in North America and in Europe. The pertinence and benefits of drug consumption rooms as a central harm reduction measure is no more to prove, however their opening and implementation still raise many issues.
Last year a consumption room opened in Lausanne. Since Switzerland was the first country to open consumption rooms, we could think it would not be much of a challenge to proceed to this opening. However, since health, social, security as well as public order issues are at stake in this process, it remains a challenge to involve all the actors and to develop a common perspective.
As evaluators of the project in its pilot phase, we suggested realising beforehand a logic model. During half a day, the main stakeholders (health and social workers, police, political authorities and a member of the staff of the future consumption room) gathered with the mission to describe step by step what were the objectives and how they could be reached.
As usually discussed in such structured brainstorming which aimed in building a logic model, the themes covered were actors, input, activities, output, outcomes and impact. The model was then synthetized in a graphical presentation putting together the various elements and their articulations before submitting it to all the participants for validation.
The elaboration of the logic model by all the stakeholders involved in the future consumption room helped to detail the activities and the skills necessary for its proper running. The discussion was very rich and rapidly it appeared there was a common vision on the key elements of the project, their interdependency and the expected results.
At the end of the process, we had a sequencing of the project on which all participants agreed as well as a mapping of the actors providing a visual representation of the local instances (political, professional as well as residents) concerned and potentially impacted by the opening of the consumption room.
The consultation of the stakeholders clarified their current knowledge as well as the evaluation’s questions, considering their feasibility, relevance and interest.