Bridging the Gaps: Health & Rights for the Key Population

At the Tbilisi Marriott Hotel on December 4, within the scope of the project ‘Bridging the Gaps: Health and Rights for the Key Population’, the Center for Information and Counseling on Reproductive Health ‘Tanadgoma’ initiated a conference with the title: ‘Rehabilitation-Resocialization of People Dependent on Psychoactive Drugs’

The six-hour conference, with government bodies, local and international organizations in attendance, aimed to outline and consider the main issues related to the rehabilitation and resocialization of people using and dependent on psychoactive drugs. Representatives of different organizations delivered speeches about problems faced by drug-addicts and discussed the ways to solve this critical problem within Georgian society. The flaws of the national psycho-social rehabilitation system were noted.

The project is carried out with the financial aid of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Dutch public health NGO-AIDS Foundation East-West, AFEW, and the local Public Union ‘Bemoni.’ The aim is to support the psychological rehabilitation of drug-addicted individuals. The first phase (September 2011 to December 2015) and saw the first 24/7 rehab center launched in the village of Gremi, Kvareli Municipality. The second phase, to last until 2021, focuses on the social inclusion of drug-addicts and supporting them in future.

The Rehabilitation Center of Gremi, which is focused on drug and alcohol addicted individuals, was launched in 2016. Since then more than 30 beneficiaries have used its services. Rehabilitation there is based solely on psychological treatment using a “12 step” method which includes art and group therapies, meetings with a psychologist (group and individual), reading literature, watching films, cultivation of land and more. During art therapy sessions, patients can express their emotions through drawing or ceramics. No medication is used in treatment. There are no phones or TVs, but patients are not isolated and there is no forced treatment- everything happens at the request of the beneficiary.

The rehab is well-equipped, and renovation of the third floor is planned for the near future to make a library and gym for the patients.

A rehabilitation course lasts three months but may be prolonged if a beneficiary wishes.

There is no age limit at the Gremi Rehabilitation Center and all the services are free. The only requirement that has to be met for a patient to be accepted at the Center is the desire to be cured.

Despite a space having been allocated, there are no female beneficiaries at the center as yet, thought to be related to the social stigma, a fact also discussed during the conference.

There are only three day treatment centers functioning in Tbilisi and the government is planning to make improvements in this sphere.

By Ketevan Kvaratskheliya

Image source: Center for Information and Counseling on Reproductive Health ‘Tanadgoma’

06 December 2018 18:07