Reintegration & Support

From harm reduction to integration support services, an overview of the practices implemented in the Dianova network


Integration efforts during addiction treatment programmes should focus especially on the needs of the most socially vulnerable – Photo by RODRIGO GONZALEZ eon Unsplash

Helping people who use drugs means meeting their needs and expectations, whatever path they want to take

Different uses, different behaviours

Around the world, several hundred million people use drugs, i.e. all substances that have an effect on the brain and therefore on perceptions and behaviour, including legal substances. For most people, drug use is not a problem. It does not lead to risky behaviour. It has no negative impact on their family, social or professional life.

It is essential to stress that drug use, even illegal drug use, is not necessarily a problem. In fact, there are not one but many types of substance use and many types of potentially addictive behaviour.

The Harm Reduction Approach

Whatever your relationship with substances, everyone should be able to turn to resources for help and support. These resources aim to improve people’s quality of life – in terms of their health and their situation in terms of social integration in particular – on the basis of their expectations and needs.

This approach is based on reducing the negative consequences associated with substance use, rather than eliminating the use itself. Its aim is to help drug users regain a satisfactory quality of life and to protect the community as a whole.

The harm reduction approach is both humane and pragmatic. Humane because it is based on people’s needs and expectations. Pragmatic, because it is based on people’s abilities and aptitudes.

The harm reduction approach has proved particularly effective in:

  • Preventing sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs)
  • Improving the health and quality of life of users
  • Reducing associated crime and its consequences

The Road to Recovery: Towards Reintegration

It is essential to protect people with substance use disorders from social exclusion and to support them in their efforts toward reintegration

People who are dependent on drugs, particularly illegal drugs, are characterised by social conditions that are more precarious than those of the majority of the population, particularly in terms of employment, housing and access to healthcare. At the same time, society tends to marginalise drug users by making it more difficult for them to access the services they need.

Treatment programmes enable people to return to normality and regain the desire to approach their lives in a positive and constructive way. However, to be fully effective, these programmes must also take account of people’s social needs.

For this reason, during the course of treatment, generally in the period leading up to the end of the programme, various measures are put in place to meet their needs in terms of access to housing, education, vocational training or employment, thus enabling them to make their recovery a reality.

Services Implemented in the Dianova Network

The addiction treatment services offered by the members of the Dianova network pay particular attention to the needs of people in the preparation phase for reintegration.

The reintegration services work in close collaboration with the care and integration networks specific to each of the countries in which our members operate. For more information, please visit our members’ websites:

SPYM (India) Opioid Substitution Therapy

SPYM runs four opioid substitution therapy (OST) centres in Delhi: Chandni Chowk, R.K Puram, Dakshinpuri and Kotla. These centres significantly reduce substance use, the transmission of STIs (in particular HIV and hepatitis C), overdose-related deaths, criminal activity and the economic difficulties faced by drug users and their families. More information 

CAPSA (Canada) – “All People, All Pathways”

The Community Addictions Peer Support Association (CAPSA) runs the programme All People All Pathways™. These peer-facilitated groups, free from stigma and discrimination, offer practices and tools designed to help those who are questioning their relationship in regard to substance use health, with a view to help them find their own path, and achieve their goals for increased wellness. More information 

RIO (Norway) – Safe, drug-free meeting places

The National Association of Users of Psychoactive Drugs (RIO) offers safe, drug-free meeting places in the cities of Tromsø and Bodø. The Café X and Café Ovenpå are open to all people with substance use problems and offer them free meals, cultural activities, and vocational training opportunities. More information