The conference will try and determine what changes need to be made in order to improve the services provided in therapeutic communities
By Lucía Goberna – According to the 2019 UNODC World Drug Report, the number of people using drugs is 30 per cent higher than in 2009. Globally, 1 in every 18 people aged between 15-64 years old had used drug in the previous year. And it is estimated that around 35 million people suffer from drug use disorder, meaning that they may require treatment. Nevertheless, the availability of and access to treatment services are still limited at the global level. Only one in seven people with drug use disorders receives treatment every year. Ministers and other government representatives gathered at the 62nd session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs earlier this year have politically recognized the urgency of the situation stating: “Drug treatment and health services continue to fall short of meeting needs and deaths related to drug use have increased”.
It is therefore vital to take up this challenge and take steps aimed at developing and strengthening addiction treatment services, together with other prevention, recovery and harm reduction measures.
17th Conference of the European Federation of Therapeutic Communities
The European Federation of Therapeutic Communities (EFTC) 17th Conference will meet in Thessaloniki (Greece) on the 19th and 20th of September under the title: “Everything Flows: Change in the Therapeutic Community for Addiction”.
Since 1982 the EFTC has been holding biennial conferences that aim to provide member organizations and colleagues from all drug treatment disciplines with the opportunity to present, question, clarify and communicate the results and evaluation of the process of addiction recovery achieved in therapeutic communities (TCs).
The objective of this conference is to better understand the process of addiction recovery with a focus on what changes need to be made in addiction TCs in order to meet today’s needs, based on current research and practices. This themes has become even more pressing in the age of austerity, where were are often asked to do more with less. In particular, the conference aims to exploreboth personal and organizational change, innovative services in TCs as well as innovative services in prevention and early intervention.
A unique opportunity derives from the conjunction of the 17th EFTC Conference with the 6th WFTC Institute that are now being held in Thessaloniki; a conjunction of two significant events for the TC movement co-occurring at the same time and the same city for the first time.
Dianova is a board member of the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities and a member of EFTC. Our representatives are attending the conference and it should be noted that our colleague Gisela Hansen was selected to present her views on addiction stigma, an issue that most women have to endure. Gisela’s presentation was held yesterday, under the title: “Stigma, a big obstacle to women’s recovery”.