A side event organized by Dianova International and other partner organisations in the course of the 58th session of the CND in Vienna
All speakers have highlighted how the original Therapeutic Community (TC) treatment model has been modified progressively in response to the changing needs of the populations we serve, including as regards their age, the substances they use, and where they come from. However, the objectives of treatment remain unchanged – helping people improve their quality of life. More than ever, this objective is the beacon guiding the whole process of change.
Gisela Rodriguez-Hansen, from Dianova Spain, stressed the importance of dealing adequately with patients presenting a psychiatric comorbidity. The latter term which describes two or more illnesses occurring in the same person – in this case, addiction and other mental disorders. In addition Ms. Rodriguez-Hansen presented converging data from Dianova Italy and Dianova Spain (up to 2015), showing a steady increase in this type of demand.
As regards treatment adjustments, she emphasized two different ways of organizing them, whether in centers exclusively dedicated for these patients as in Dianova Uruguay or within integrated centers (an approach chosen in Dianova Spain and Italy) where both types of patients are treated within the same facility.
Oriol Esculies from Projecte Home Catalunya (Spain), focused on implementing the necessary changes to meet the needs of a population aged 13-21 and their families. Mr. Esculies shared a number of experiences and ideas on working with adolescents which could serve in fields other than addiction-related.
Phaedon Kaloterakis from Kethea (Greece) explained the peculiarities of working with prison inmates, where it is especially tricky to achieve the climate of openness required for implementing a trust-based relationship between patients and drug counsellors. In addition, Mr. Kalotherakis stressed the importance of organizing a monitoring and support system in order to help ex-convicts live productive, drug-free lives after their release, which is especially difficult to achieve in the country’s current situation.