Drugs: between indifference and institutionalisation (2001)

The Drugs study: between indifference and institutionalisation is divided into three parts. The first is an overview of drug use from which emerges a kind of revolution that dismisses drug use as a mere recreational activity. Especially those who use soft drugs or occasional pills regularly do not see how abnormal it is and how it can induce an addiction that is harmful to their physical and mental life. What is serious is that such behaviour is not seen as an indicator of discomfort that could also lead to other forms of addiction. The second part concerns the people who have been accepted into the San Patrignano community in the last five years. The second part relates to the people admitted to the Community of San Patrignano in the previous five years: approximately 2,000 people, considered based on the type of addiction, the use of drugs, the age of use and the period from the beginning of the use of hard drugs to enter into the Community. The third part refers to a survey of Mental Health Centres. Operators with substantial experience in the field answered a short semi-structured questionnaire, providing crucial information to understand the situation of drug addicts arriving in mental health centres.

The research shows that the picture is not reassuring: the problem of drug dependence is aggravated by its mass diffusion and the continually decreasing age of first use.


Purpose, structure and methodology of the survey
Key aspects of the drug phenomenon today
The void inside: drug addiction as a response
Illegal messages
Drug addiction in Italy: some data
Policies and intervention strategies: the proposals of Therapeutic Communities
The survey on the Patrignano Community
The survey on Mental Health Centres
Final considerations

Summary Document

Drugs: mass distribution and decreasing age of first use

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