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The Drug Dependency Service started up in 1980. The need to be met and the main aim is to provide an effective response to so many young people and their families going through the trauma of drug addiction.

The defining feature of all the action taken, right from the beginning, is shared lives, a way of living together and intervention within the rehabilitation centres. The experience gained in these thirty  years of sharing with and in the needs of young people in rehabilitation programmes has led the Pope John XXIII Community from time to time to open units using different methods. In addition to the more traditional Therapeutic Communities, we have opened day centres, emergency reception centres, centres for mothers and children, for alcoholics and for teenagers with problems. As well as using these rehabilitation methods in Italy, the Pope John XXIII Community has exported them to other countries, such as Russia, Croatia, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile and the Netherlands.

The Drug Dependency Service also engages in preventative action by addressing schools. We work with the SerT (the Italian national health service drug dependency service) when making plans for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation for the young people following a therapeutic programme and with the Surveillance Court for young people we have welcomed in and who are subject to legal proceedings. We take part in the working group for experts on drug dependency set up by the Italian Ministries of Social Solidarity and of Health.

Over the course of these years, the Pope John XXIII Community has attempted to respond to the emergence of new needs such as alcoholism and other addictions like gambling and the phenomenon of dual diagnosis.

The therapeutic course

There are three stages to the therapeutic course

  1. Welcoming 
  2. The Therapeutic Community 
  3. Social re-integration. 

These stages make up the basic framework for the course but there is a tendency to offer personalised responses and proposals, to the point of reworking the course when needs are identified arising from individual problems and to render the course even more effective.

For more information on the therapeutic course and on how we share our life with this community of the least, see the page on Therapeutic Communities

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