Background: "Clubs against drugs" (CAD) is a comprehensive program with a systems approach to prevention with the intention of preventing drug use in nightclub environment. In 2001 CAD was developed and implemented in Stockholm and was disseminated to 20 other municipalities in Sweden up until 2010. This study investigates the factors related to the implementation and compares Stockholm to the rest of the municipalities.
Methods: A sequential exploratory method was used which consisted of three steps including a questionnaire and two rounds of interviews. Questionnaires included all communities and the interviews included twelve respondents from three example municipalities in the first phase and four respondents from Stockholm in the second phase. The interviews were analyzed using content analysis.
Results: In Stockholm the program was described as having been implemented and sustained over time. The implementation in the example municipalities was perceived as difficult with many obstacles and achieving sustainability was also described as difficult. Two of three municipalities were not active at the time of this study, illustrating that the program only lasted a few years. Factors identified as being related to implementation outcomes were need assessments, participation, support, collaboration and local enthusiasts.
Conclusions: The capacity to implement and sustain CAD differed substantially between Stockholm and the other municipalities. If the prerequisites and capacity are not sufficient the implementation is not likely to be successful, even when the activities are promoted on a national level like CAD. The needs of the interventions and the capacity to implement the program should be examined before adopting the program. This was not done, probably because the drive to spread the activity was not sufficiently questioned.