“My key goal is to master responsibility and to grow spiritually” Roman, former drug addict


18.07.13, Ukraine
(name of ‘Nazareth’ rehabilitation center client was changed for ethical reason)
“My name is Roman and I am drug addict. I didn’t want to acknowledge that I was sick. I understood that I consumed some drugs from time to time, but I didn’t want to recognize that it became my habit.

My parents encouraged me to come to ‘Nazareth’ rehabilitation center. After few days here and some talks, things I saw and heard – I found out that I am drug addict.
Firstly, while staying in Center I didn’t follow all recommendations, because I considered them as needless. But time passed and Center community helped me and I understood many things, began to change. I got a willing to move on and upgrade my skills. Now I am joyful and more confident, coped with many different things inside me; got used to obligations; learnt to cook and hold responsibility for my doings.”

Each year the number of people addicted to alcohol and drugs is drastically growing, among them – many youngsters and women. As a result of alcohol consumption 2.5 million people die annually. According to data of the World Health Organization Ukraine holds the fifth place on alcohol consumption per capita. Nearly 40% of Ukrainian teenagers aged 14-18 years drink alcohol beverages. In fact, the WHO figures report that our country is the first in the world by the level of alcoholism in children. In general, compared to AIDS, tuberculosis and war – more people die from alcohol abuse.

Furthermore, there is a daunting statistics of drug consumption. Nowadays 5 million individuals in Ukraine take drugs on a regular basis, 20% among out of them are schoolchildren; 60% – youth aged 16-30 years; and 20% are mature adults. For the recent years the mortality rate on drugs consumption has increased in 12 times; in 42 times – among children. Problem of alcohol and drug addiction carries menace for economic, demographic, social and cultural situation in Ukraine, and the same time it is misfortune for an individual: addicted people lose their health and job, but the worst things are ruined family relationships and minors who suffer.

“My name is Nazar and I am addicted to alcohol, drugs and gambling. My relatives made a condition: they will abandon me if I don’t start treatment. And I thought that I couldn’t resist my addiction and don’t have strength of will, but some time passed and I received colossal assistance.
For two months in ‘Nazareth’ I understood that my life has changed for better. I have the highest status among other people on rehabilitation. I am already eight months here and feel great!”

State medical institutions are involved in making diagnosis and detoxication of the addicted individual. After short detoxication at the hospital these people are left face to face with their sickness that controls them on physical and psychological levels. Experience all over the globe shows that addicted individuals require long-lasting rehabilitation program in hospital conditions that combines medical treatment and change of personal mental state.  There is one of such effective places to get rid of alcohol and drug addiction in Ukraine. It is ‘Nazaret’ rehabilitation center, founded in 2004 by Caritas of Sambir-Drohobych Diocese of the UGCC.

“Nazareth’ center is located in the abandoned military facility near Drohobych, Lviv region. It is aimed to render chargeless aid to socially vulnerable people with alcohol and drug addiction, TBC patients and HIV-positive individuals.  There are three types of services provided: consultation, rehabilitation and social reintegration.

Attendance to rehabilitation center is provided through a consultation point in Caritas Drohobych. Men, aged 18-55 years, are admitted to center, without taking into consideration national/social background and religious confession. Period of stay in rehabilitation center lasts at least 12 months. An average number of people on rehabilitation is 20-30 individuals.

‘Nazareth’ operates as a therapeutic community, built on trust and assistance in the process of self-knowing. The principles of the rehabilitation center work are prayer, spiritual program ’12 steps’, friendship and mutual assistance, also feeling of duty and responsibility for oneself and the community. Dwellers of rehabilitation center are involved into occupational therapy: run the house, feed the livestock, have own bakery, store up firewood for heating. This therapy assists social integration of individuals who got used to live in accordance with their desires, needs and weaknesses. “It is undoubtedly true that rehabilitation of the addicted should favor mental strengthening and growth, rethinking of life principles. It shouldn’t be the place of isolation from alcohol, narcotic or tobacco matter,” says Oleksandra Kozakevych, Program Manager in ‘Nazareth’.

“My name is Yaroslav. Some months ago I couldn’t resist my weakness and gorilka (vodka) began to guide my life. Now I am here. ‘Nazareth’ gave me a new life, I am recovering: become sober, I consume no alcohol and feel good here. I think over many things and mistakes. I want to take 12 steps by ‘Nazareth’. I hope that this program will help me in my life. My leading now is to master responsibility and to grow spiritually. Nothing happens accidently; the same is with my sickness.”

Psychologists, consultants and spiritual advisors work with addicted individuals in ‘Nazareth’. All center employees have required qualification – psychological, theological or education in sphere of social work; they also pass trainings on therapy of the addicted. ‘Nazareth’ stuff regularly has internship in other rehabilitation centers. There is constant search and establishment of contacts, collaboration with other familiar center in Ukraine and abroad.

Administration board of the rehabilitation center plans to enlarge and diversify its activities. However, financing is the only problem. From time to time a period of crisis begins in ‘Nazareth’, when there is no money to take care of its clients, to pay for household facilities and food.

More information about ‘Nazareth’ rehabilitation center:
‘Nazareth’ rehabilitation center web-site
Nazareth – ‘city’ where hermits reside…” – “Vysokiy zamok” newspaper
Movie about ‘Nazareth’ center for alcohol and drug addicts filmed by the UGCC
Informational movie

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