The therapeutic program is based on education and rehabilitation. The person is not considered afflicted by an “illness” and therefore, pharmacological treatments to combat drug abuse are not used. Instead physiotherapeutic and psychiatric interventions are implemented when deemed necessary, in order to treat specific individual problems.
The rehabilitation program is tailored to each resident and varies depending on the characteristics and needs of every individual. There are no rigid therapeutic steps or a defined timescale. Instead, considering the problems and demands of a radical personal change, we offer a long-term residential rehabilitation program; in fact, the minimum duration is three years.
When a person comes into the community, they are placed into one of the training sectors at San Patrignano. Here they are entrusted to a resident who becomes their mentor for the first year (the time varies from person to person) and follows their progress. The resident lives in the room together with the mentor and with other residents in the program. Each room has a resident in charge and each sector has one or more reference educators. These are mainly the groups within which the resident will spend their day-to-day life in the community.
Personal growth occurs through the daily interaction with peers and supervisors of the sector (professional educators). By comparing the critical issues, their individual weaknesses are analysed and addressed. Each resident, along the way, are entrusted gradually with more responsibilities, both in the sector, and in the many activities that take place in community (sports, artistic, cultural. Over time, they in turn become tutors for others in need of help. In this way, community residents rediscover, day after day, the pleasure of feeling useful for themselves and for others, experiencing new forms of gratification that are the very opposite of the illusory gratification offered by drug use. The rules of community life are those of normal civil coexistence, respect of oneself, others and the environment.
San Patrignano has over 50 life and training sectors, where residents are placed according to the availability of people who can assist the newcomer and according to their characteristics. Learning a profession allows each resident to grow one’s self-esteem with interpersonal relationships. It is also the key to a full reintegration into society. Moreover, each resident is given the opportunity to return to his or her studies abandoned in the past, at any academic level.
During rehabilitation, the aim is to rebuild the relationships between residents and their family. Initially a separation period is envisaged, with the exception of correspondence by letters. The family is advised to follow a path parallel to that of their family member in the program by frequenting one of the many associations located all over Italy and the world. After about a year (this depends on the individual) the family is able to visit the community for the first time. These meetings subsequently increase to three or four a year and then after the first three years approximately, residents return home for the first time for seven to ten days.