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#1 2018-04-08 00:42:39

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The community's organic farming products

by Marzia De Giuli

MILAN Tracy McGrady Olympics Jersey , March 11 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of lost people have been successfully reintegrated into society by the San Patrignano Community in central Italy, one of the largest facility in Europe which cures men and women with problems of drug addiction.

Since 1978, when it was founded by Italian entrepreneur Vincenzo Muccioli, San Patrignano has been home to more than 25,000 people, offering them legal and health care, the chance to study and learn a skill. At present there are more than 1,000 people being treated, including several minors.


"We do not consider our guests to be ill, thus pharmacological treatments to combat drug abuse are never used," Antonio Boschini, head of the therapeutic program at San Patrignano, said in an interview with Xinhua.

"Our program is educational and rehabilitative. We just resort to psychotherapy or psychiatric methods if they are deemed necessary to treat specific problems," he added.

Like most of the some 100 volunteers working in San Patrignano, in addition to roughly 200 employees, Boschini was a former drug user himself. Recovery of self-esteem, respect for life, for others and for the environment are the main principles of civil coexistence on which San Patrignano's activities are based, according to him.

"Detoxification is among the easiest things to be achieved. The real issue is avoiding a relapse, for this reason we aim at building a psychic solidity, which needs a long-term work. In fact our program is built more on concreteness than on theory," Boschini said.


According to Boschini, the program has no rigid therapeutic steps or a defined timescale, but varies depending on the characteristics of every single individual, and has an average duration of four years.

Some 75 percent of guests used to be addicted to heroin and 30 percent to cocaine, with many using different drugs at the same time. Eighty percent are men, aged 27 on average, while 25 is the average age for women. San Patrignano is also home to dozens of children addicts.

When new people are admitted -- around 350 each year including many coming from abroad to join San Patrignano -- they are integrated into one of the more than 50 life and training sectors inside the community.

"They are entrusted to another person who becomes their tutor and who during their first year constantly follows their progress," Boschini said. The newcomers live in a room with their tutor and others in the program. Each room has a resident in charge and each sector has one or more reference educators.


Bakery, livestock farming, carpentry, chemists, dairy, decorations, dental, graphic design, kitchen, laundry, meat processing, medical center, metal workers, wine cellar, restaurant and hairdressing are only a few of the sectors and activities in which the guests are involved in their everyday life.

Learning a profession, Boschini stressed, means growing in self-esteem and interpersonal relationships, therefore is the key to full reintegration into society.

At the same time, he told Xinhua, guests are given the opportunity to return to their studies abandoned in the past at any academic level, from middle school to university. They can take a degree in five subjects thanks to the community's collaboration with universities and also attend other courses outside San Patrignano once they have sufficiently rehabilitated.

There are also many critical situations that however are dealt with in daily activities, Boschini added. During rehabilitation, guests are gradually made feel more responsible both for their sectors and for the sports, artistic and cultural activities.

"Over time, they in turn become tutors for others in need of help and rediscover the pleasure of feeling useful. They experience new forms of gratification that are the very opposite of the illusory gratification offered by drug use," Boschini said.


About 50 percent of the daily operational costs of the community are covered by the sales of goods and services coming from San Patrignano's professional training workshops, the rest by donations from individuals and companies.

"We have two restaurants open to the public. The food is high-quality, thus they are quite well-known," Boschini noted. Some other sectors of the 300-hectare area are also open to customers, who for example can buy flowers from the greenhouse or ride horses at the horse club.

The "San Patrignano Design Lab" has become a brand of precious handicrafts of all kinds, from furniture to textiles and leather goods, produced at San Patrignano. Famous Italian and international designers and fashion brands such as Zegna and Brunello Cucinelli have launched collaborations with the community.

The community's organic farming products as well as wine have successfully entered fairs and shops. "We function like a company and our objective is to become more and more economically independent," Boschini said.

This self-sufficiency philosophy is what has allowed San Patrignano to be completely free of charge for the people in rehabilitation and their families. What is more, admission into the community requires no public funding.

The San Patrignano model has been acknowledged at the international level. The community has been recognized by the United Nations (UN) as a non-governmental organization (NGO) accredited with the status of "special advisor to the Economic and Social Council of the UN."

San Patrignano will host the second edition of the Positive Economy Forum on April 9, when 50 business leaders, politicians, social entrepreneurs and academics from all over the world are scheduled to share their experience related to positive finance and governance.

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2018-04-08 00:42:39



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