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International workshop at San Patrignano

After months of uncertainty, now we have a certainty: the COVID-19 pandemic crisis will last at least until next year, when the global distribution of the vaccine can hopefully help us tackle the problem, protecting the most vulnerable ones. Until then, our priority remains to protect our people, as we have been able to do up to now, by continuing to welcome new comers and managing family visits and home visits with all the necessary precautions, but avoiding as much as possible that external visitors get in close contact with our residents. Therefore, unfortunately we will not be able to organize the Autumn session of the workshop. We are deeply regretful about this, as it is a fundmental part of our work, and a source of further development for the community and for our people. But we are sure that all of you will continue to follow our work: we look forward to the opportunity to welcome all of you at San Patrignano

Below is an outline of this intensive workshop.

The International Workshop will allow participants to live one week within the premises of the community, attending experts’ lectures combined with experiential learning labs. This can offer social workers, social practitioners working on addiction, scholars and NGOs interested in the San Patrignano model, a unique opportunity to get to know closely the rehabilitation and social reinsertion model of the biggest community in Europe, as well our initiatives in the field of prevention from drug use.

San Patrignano, one of the world’s largest residential treatment center, has been working for more than forty 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 1100 residents, the average age of which is dropping year by year.

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. Besides the analysis of the therapeutic model, the lectures will examine also our initiatives in the field of prevention, as well as 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 request 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.

Venue: San Patrignano, Rimini, Italy and San Patrignano, Botticella di Novafeltria, Italy (from now on San Patrignano and Botticella)

Language: English

Duration: 7 days: the course will take place from Saturday to Friday both included. Please make the necessary travel arrangements to be able to arrive on Friday and leave the following Friday in the afternoon or on Saturday morning

Fees: 1350 euro (The fees include: lectures, learning material, tutoring, accommodation and meals, full board for the duration of the course)

Accommodation: The accommodation is provided into rooms/cottages with 2 to 6 beds, to experience firsthand the true community life-style.

Program of the intensive workshop

The program  includes lectures with expert of the community and experiential learning labs in close contact with our residents. You will be tutored and guided by an English speaking resident advanced in the program, able to provide insightful details of the daily routine and to share with you his/her lived experience.

You will actively participate into our daily life, having lunches and dinners with all our people and staff in our large dining room and being involved into leisure time activities.

Topics for theoretical sessions include but are not limited to:

* Preliminary contacts and admission process in the community, the preliminary work: getting prepared for the admission

*An extensive network to support families and their loved ones before, during and after the program.

* The role and dynamics of the admission: assessment of the motivational elements.

*Alternative sentencing measures

* The Gambling Program

* Initial check-up, drug related diseases and introduction to the community program.

* The empowerment

* Sport and leisure time: nurturing each ones talent. The complex process of recovery through a range of engaging activities with the residents

* Special needs for special groups. Addressing age, gender and parenting issues.

* The challenges of sustainability and social reintegration

*WeFree: our prevention project

The sessions will be completed by a final wrap up meeting and delivery of participation certificates

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


We will continue to monitor all developments related to COVID-19 and follow advice provided by the World Health Organization and the Italian Government, as well as the guidelines provided by the National sanitary system concerning residential treatment services. Rescheduling of the next session of the workshop will be announced in good time for applicants to make appropriate arrangements. Further updates about upcoming sessions will be provided in due course. Do not hesitate to ask for further information to