Albania: First addiction programme in the Balkans

The first rehabilitation programme for young people addicted to alcohol and drugs has been opened in Albania: a drop-in centre at Tirana and a residential centre at Vaqarr. The emphasis is on getting the young people talking, and helping them find the motivation to recover. Meetings with parents are important moments for trying to get at the origins of the addiction and for involving them in their children’s education, recovery and re-insertion in society. In general Albanian families (clans) are scandalised by and ashamed of the new drug phenomenon which did not exist during the communist regime. The centre, a project of the Italian Emmanuel Community and of the Jesuit Mission in Albania, is the only one of its kind in the Balkans and is already being visited as a model for other programmes in the region.