RRR study visit to Rome

A week in May, 16-19, was devoted to the Triple R study visit to Centro Italiano di Solidarieta don Mario Picchi, CEIS, in Rome.

The framework of the study visit reflected the need to understand the Italian rehabilitative model based on the "Progetto Uomo" ( "Project Man") ideals. A project "Man" has historically opened new opportunities for recovery in Italy, promoted acceptance for differences among the clients of the community, perceiving addiction as a humanity disease, different for each and everyone.

There are 1200 drug treatment communities in Italy and in 2015 there were 90 000 persons in treatment.
Italian perspective over the public and private governance in the rehabilitation of drug users has been oriented to the Christian and family values. It was developed with some assistance from the Vaticane, explained CEIS Area coordinators, Massimo Caciolo and Andrea Pilloni.

Among the therapy goals are individual autonomy (reaching autonomy, not sobriety), remodelling cognitive maps (meaning that treatment centre is a place of awareness and care, where the clients get their pharmacotherapy gradually decreased in a protected environment and reshape their family relationships) and rapid resocialization.

"Project Man” focus on the idea that the more responsibility one gets as the treatment evolves, the less control is exercised on the way. We were introduced to the Progetto Uomo rehabilitation model applied at 2 therapeutic communities, at San Carlo residential facility in Castelgandolfo and at Santa Maria Therapeutic Community. Both communities apply the 3-phase model but have different residential programmes that can last 18-20 months.

It all starts with a phase of physical intervention or physical treatment (e.g. methadone-based treatment). The next phase concerns one`s character and demands a psychological therapy, aggressiveness and ill-temper are controllable and get diminished. On the third level a spiritual element is involved, applying one`s conscience to the process of rehabilitation. In this phase occurs a personal crisis, focused on one`s personal responsibility and a realisation that rules leave less chances for a person to grow. This phase lasts for 6 months, depending on a client.
There is also a fourth phase, which is ambulatory, and is about social reinsertion. This implies meetings twice a week, clinical assessment of the client, his/ her social reinsertion and the work with the emplyment office. It can take appr. one year.
Programme graduation criteria are personal objectives, autonomy, personal responsibilities and management of an everyday life.

All project partners tried and were involved in a psychodrama test, reflecting a process of rapid resocialization. It is a technique to visualize in a graphic way a relationship in a group at one specific moment. The parameters used are "attraction" and "rejection".
We also had a glimpse into the double-diagnosis treatment by ECO programme and alternative measures applied to those addicts in search of a treatment, instead of incarceration.

The project partners worked on finalizing the main concepts for the manuals and set some new deadlines for the work on the Triple R Project publications on Rehabilitation, Recovery and Reinsertion as well as for the justice intervention handbook.

The reorganized work load concenrned publishing and spreading the manuals on Rehabilitation, Recovery and Reinsertion - the joint work of 4 established recovery communities in the EU. These manuals and a handbook on Justice Intervention - the experience of Drug Courts in Belgium will be put in print this autumn.

This is the first output of the RRR project that will be presented and spread at the EU headquarters in Brussels at the beginning of 2017.