ISSUP Italy is hosted by the Association Casa Rosetta (ACFR), an Italian non-profit NGO located in Caltanissetta, in the heart of Sicily, which has been on the forefront in drug prevention, treatment, care, and rehabilitation for over 35 years. ACFR bases its services on a number of core values: Christian service, ethical standards, social inclusion, focus on vulnerable populations, people-centered services, respect for diversity, spiritual principles and ethical values. Its organizational principles are: quality, effectiveness, efficiency, appropriateness, transparency and equity. The Association‘s headquarters are in Caltanissetta, but various working sites are located throughout Sicily, in Rome, Tanga, Tanzania, Porto Velho and in Ouro Preto do Oeste, Brazil. AFCR is an organisation in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (since 2009).
Our Mission and Objectives
ACFR basic principle is the respect for life, which stems from the awareness that life is a gift and that giving is a fundamental component of life itself. Therefore, ACFR mission is to offer to all those who turn to it an opportunity for social redemption, improved health and, mainly, a better quality of life. Hence, the provision of services is based on a holistic approach and the caring for the complex psychophysical health of those in treatment includes the care for their spiritual well-being as well. The multidisciplinary and multipurpose health care strategy utilised places a special consideration to the centrality of the human being, considered also from the social, cultural and spiritual specificity.
The main challenge of service delivery is to be able to build bridges connecting differing realities and to develop a more effective professional workforce in order to offer the best quality evidence-based and ethical treatment to the patients and a more effective support to their families.
AFCR main general objectives are:
- to give practical answers to those who are suffering from social marginalization and isolation, supporting them to achieve effective social reintegration;
- to help those in need, promoting the values of human dignity, solidarity and the respect for life;
- to provide the best possible preventive, curative and rehabilitative care to substance users;
- to support families so that they may not be left alone in facing the complex substance use treatment, rehabilitation and reintegration by family members;
- to contrast health inequalities and promote equity in health for all, for the most vulnerable populations in particular;
ACFR in a Nutshell
The following are ACFR's main areas of work:
1. Treatment and Prevention for SUD
- Therapeutic Communities for residential treatment of Substance Use Disorders (Italy and Brazil)
- Outreach Services, CBT and Brief Intervention for SUD
- Awareness–raising on SUD and other Addiction Campaigns
2. Health Centres for People with Disability
- Health units for the rehabilitation of people with physical, psychic or sensorial disabilities or with social disorders (Italy, Brazil and Tanzania)
3. Residential Homes for Particularly Vulnerable Populations
- Children and adolescents at social risk
- Orphan children with HIV/AIDS (Tanzania)
- People living with HIV/AIDS
- People with psychiatric disorders
4. Family Counselling Centres and Community Genetic Services
5. Education and Research
- Quali-quantitative research
- Training and Continuing Medical Education for the lifelong learning of professionals
- University teaching programmes
For over 30 years ACFR has been operating in Italy as well as in Brazil and in Tanga, Tanzania, building social networks composed not only of national and international experts and professionals in the field of prevention and treatment of substance use and abuse. Also students, people with substance use disorders and their families, as a well as hundreds of volunteers, were part of the network, all sharing the vision of a drug-free life as well as a life free from every other form of dependence. Today, pathological dependence is not just linked to substance abuse. In fact, there are increasing number of cases in Italy of other compulsive types of behaviours which reduce the quality of individual and family life (video, internet, gambling, shopping etc.).
In Italy there are at least five hundred outpatient drug treatment services and more than eight hundred therapeutic communities for residential treatment of SUD, all operating at local level within the Public Health System. The various service providers may use different approaches, though each may be adapted to the specific local context. Sometime the inspiring principle may be religious, spiritual, bio-centric or of other nature. On the one hand, this diversity offers a wide range of therapeutic choices to substance users and to their families. On the other hand, it is difficult to carry out comparative evaluations of data on the efficacy of the treatment used as well as on any other experience gained. The establishment of ISSUP Italy offers an opportunity for streamlining approaches through networking, for defining comparable indicators for evaluation purpose, for offering to patients the best possible evidence-based care, and to the families the support they need.
During the years, in addition to gaining a vast experience in the field of the clinical practice, ACFR has organized numerous Global Conferences, Training and Educational activities, awareness-raising campaigns on Drug Abuse Treatment and Prevention. Through the ISSUP Italy National Chapter, ACFR intends to develop a community of experienced and trained professionals, health workers, experts, researchers, students, volunteers and families.