Sweden

July 2018

Overview of Blue Cross Sweden (Blå Bandet)

  • In Sweden the name is Blue Ribbon, introduced 1883
  • Non-governmental and democratic organization with a national union, 11 regional and approximately 60 local organizations
  • One person is employed by the national organization
  • 4800 members who have promised to be totally sober
  • Work preventively from informing young people and adults about the risks of alcohol and drugs. Furthermore, to ensure that the country has a still restrictive policy by talking with politicians at different levels

Q&A with Per-Olof Svensson, General Secretary Blå Bandet

Per-Olof Svensson

1. Why is the Blue Cross work important to you?

The best way to avoid alcohol and drug abuse is never to start drinking alcohol or using drugs. Therefore, we inspire young people not to start and adults to think about their alcohol consumption to reduce or stop drinking completely.

2. Are you convinced of the impact of your work - if so, which aspects?

Yes, unless we and our related organizations worked for this, there would be more problems with abuse.

3. What was your happiest moment during your time with Blue Cross?

When I organized a family event with entertainment and related to this, I told the audience about our work. A grandmother came to me afterwards telling me that she thinks what we do is important and she has stopped drinking alcohol since she had grandchildren.

4. What is/was your biggest challenge in your work for Blue Cross?

To get more money to make more information projects. To inspire our local organizations to do more.

5. Blue Cross in your country: What do you consider as your most important project?

The closest thing is to pay attention to parents thinking about their alcohol consumption, which is often higher during the summer, which may adversely affect the children. We are co- organizing over 40 different seminars on alcohol and drugs for one week at Sweden's largest national political arrangement.