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International workshop at San Patrignano

Next session: November 4 to 8, 2024

The world is going through extremely challenging times: wars, consequences of climate change, displaced populations, and increasing inequalities that affect particularly those who are most vulnerable in developing but also in developed countries. As a result, economic restrictions mainly affect those aspects of welfare expenditure considered less necessary and urgent.

Among them, services and treatment for dependencies that, on the contrary, involve more and more people globally, causing deaths, severe physical and mental health issues, and impacting the social well-being and development of the countries. For this reason, it is necessary to join forces and elaborate effective solutions that can work in this hardship to support the most fragile human beings to save their lives, offering them meaningful relationships and the opportunity to improve their quality of life and contribute to our communities.

This workshop aims to concretely explore ways to implement programs that promote these aspects. It offers participants the opportunity to learn more about the San Patrignano recovery and social integration model and exchange experiences with people from different regions.

The International Workshop at San Patrignano allows participants to experience daily life in the peer-led therapeutic community of San Patrignano for a whole working week, from Monday to Friday, both included.

The program combines lectures by experienced members of the staff with experiential learning labs in close contact with the residents. This immersive experience can offer social workers and practitioners working with people affected by SUD, scholars and NGOs interested in the San Patrignano model, a unique opportunity to get to know closely our rehabilitation and social reinsertion model, as well our initiatives in the field of prevention from drug use addressed to young people.

San Patrignano, one of the world’s largest residential treatment centers, has been working for the last forty-four years for the full recovery of those suffering from substance use disorders. Offering a program of rehabilitation, skills training and full social reintegration completely free of charge, the community has given a new chance to more than 26,000 young people with an independently verified drug free success rate of over 70%. Currently San Patrignano is home to roughly 800 residents, male and female, without any discrimination based economic, religious or social conditions.

Primary prevention initiatives are also part of our daily commitment: we organize theatrical presentations, interactive debates and study trips to the community using “peer-to-peer” education on the dangers of drug use and at-risk life styles. In addition, the lectures will elaborate on the economic aspects of the organization, which is not a charity but a social enterprise.

Aim of the workshop: San Patrignano welcomes NGOs, government delegates, academia, social workers, students, professionals and individuals interested in deepening their knowledge on our method in addressing drug problems, studying our model and educative approach. The workshop has been developed to respond to the large number of requests for study visits and internships at San Patrignano, to share our expertise and offer a unique experience of our community. The International staff in cooperation with the University of Bologna and Milan created the format, based on previous visits of government and civil society delegations from around the world in recent years. The program provides classes in the morning, while in the afternoon residents, under the supervision of the study visit coordinator, will act as mentors to the workshop participants favoring their understanding of peer support and peer mentoring, central elements of our method

Venue: San Patrignano, Rimini, Italy

Language: English is required for the participants.

Duration: 5 days: the course will take place from Monday to Friday both included. Please make the necessary travel arrangements to be able to arrive on Sunday and leave on the following Saturday.

Fees: 1000 euro (The fees include: registration, lectures, learning material, tutoring, coffee breaks and meals, for the duration of the course). It doesn’t not include accommodation and local transportation.

Accommodation and local transportation: Participants will choose and book their own accommodation in Rimini, which is 12 km away from SP and connected with public transportation. The community will provide suggestions in this regard and indications regarding local transports.


Day 0, Sunday:
Arrival to Rimini and independent accommodation into the hotel.

Day 1, Monday:
9:15am Arrival to San Patrignano: welcome coffee and guided tour to the San Patrignano premises and the vocational training departments until 4.30pm.
At 4.30pm: Briefing on the week ahead
At 5.45pm Back to the hotel

Day 2, Tuesday:
9:15am Morning: Lectures

  • Preliminary contacts and admission process in the community, the preliminary work: the role and dynamics of the admission: assessment of the motivational elements, alternative sentencing measures
  • An extensive network to support families and their loved ones

Lunch with the residents
Afternoon: Experiential learning labs in assigned vocational training workshops.
Dinner with the residents.
At 8.25pm Back to the hotel

Day 3, Wednesday:
9:15am Morning: lecture

  • Initial check-up, drug related issues and introduction to the community program.
  • The empowerment

Lunch with the residents.
Afternoon: Experiential learning labs in assigned vocational training workshops.
At 5.45pm Back to the hotel

Day 4, Thursday:
9:15am Morning: Lectures

  • The challenges of sustainability and social reintegration
  • Sport and leisure time: nurturing each one’s talent. The complex process of recovery through a range of engaging activities with the residents

Lunch with the residents.
Afternoon: Experiential learning labs in assigned vocational training workshops.
Farewell dinner at SP.accio – San Patrignano Restaurant/Pizzeria
At 8.25pm Back to the hotel

Day 5, Friday:

9:15am Morning: Lectures

  • Special needs for special groups. Addressing age, gender and parenting issues.
  • WeFree: the drug prevention project designed and implemented by San Patrignano

Lunch with the residents.
Afternoon: Conclusions, final wrap up and delivery of participation certificates
At 5.45pm Back to the hotel

Day 6, Saturday:

Note: This program might be subject to minor changes due to logistical or organizational issues.


Those wishing to apply to take part in the workshop should download the registration form, fill it in and send it together with a CV and motivation letter to [email protected]

Deadline for applications: October 18, 2024

Places are limited, so please wait for our confirmation before proceeding with the organization of your trip.