- Category: News
- Published: 11 February 2016
ECAD participates in a 2-year long EU project (TRIPLE R) on the exchange of the best practice in the field of recovery between EU member states. The project aims at reducing recidivism and crime in regard to drug addiction and spreading the cost effective and productive models on drug Rehabilitation, social Reintegration and Reinsertion of the drug addicts.
The project is run by San Patrignano Community, world`s largest therapeutic community for full recovery, which has been a partner for ECAD for many years.
4 well-known international rehabilitation communities are involved in the project and this winter and spring all project partners will participate in 3 study visits and 2 workshops, implying mutual learning and best practice exchange. The project has a pilot phase to be implemented later in Croatia, involving 3 different NGOs helping drug addicts.
The first study visit was made to the city of Ghent in Belgium on February 1-4, 2016, in order to investigate a unique practice of drug court`s in action. The visit was hosted by a Belgian NGO Popov GGZ, a consultation platform on mental health, including addiction.
We were welcome in Ghent City Hall and met the city Drug Policy Coordinator, Mr Filip De Sager, Provincial Drug Policy Coordinator, Mr. Bert Mostien and the heart of the Ghent Drug Court system, its liaison coordinator Mr. Alphonse Franssen (the three gentelmen pictured closer below from left to right).
The unique concept of Ghent Drug Court system is allowing a treatment to take place before any sentence or a verdict has been stated and a crime registered. The attitude of a judge at a Drug Court is thus strict but highly motivating, approving of a personal achievement and not moralizing about an addict. Also, crimes involving the use of alcohol are a matter of drug courts.
East Flanders uses an Integrated Treatment System, which became an evolution within the drug policy since 1998. The ITS consists of a complete set of care and treatment programmes for illicit drug users, guaranteeing customized care and its continuity, organized in a network. The therapeutic ideologies within the treatment programmes had to give way for solving concrete problems of the clients, which led to respect, shared vision and investigation of services available to make the treatment effective.
The city of Ghent applies a bottom-up approach to the drug policy, when the work priorities are chosen by the stakeholders of the local Drug Policy Steering Committee. The Committee consists of the police representatives, drug prevention sector of the city, NGO Popov GGZ, field workers, a mayor of Ghent and 3 deputies.
(Ghent City Hall)
Flemish Ministry of Health set Recovery as a main strategy, but that was not about sobriety or control. Recovery in Belgium is about establishing a fulfilling, meaningful life. The point of case management is also keeping people in treatment, helping them indirectly to stay sober and to sustain recovery.