Focus: Communications - Site Visit - www.coca.org.uk

One of the biggest threats to society is rampant use of crack cocaine and other class A narcotics - or so the tabloids tell us. What is the truth? Coca, a charity supporting drug professionals, is trying to raise the level of debate. Since its redesign in February, coca.org.uk has increased its traffic to more than 5,000 visitors a month. The charity says the site is vital if it is to become one of the leading international resources for issues relating to crack. Information on methamphetamine is also provided.

Main pages

The charity's aim is to provide information, and this is taken seriously from the start - one of the first words you read is 'information', a link to a section that includes a table of drugs, their routes through the body, their effects and the types of user. This links in turn to more resources on chemicals, from dance drugs to treatment tools. The tone is neither dry and academic nor couched in "yoof" speak - the general look and feel is professional and detached. There is also a news section (oldest items first, strangely) that would be of relevance to anyone researching these issues.

Special features

The site doesn't score that highly on visual impact, and it could use colour better. But the quality of information on offer is good, as is navigability - it's very simple to click onto global web resources around these issues.

Coca says

"We want our website to be one of the leading online resources for issues relating to crack cocaine use. It's aimed at anyone interested in receiving news, training and objective information on the subject. The website is presented with a fresh, distinct look and feel, and avoids stereotypical imagery of drug use."

Site Visit is by Gary Flood

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