Help for Addicts and Their Families in St. Petersburg
Project Field Education
Context During the last few years the average life expectancy of Russian men dropped to 57 years. This is comparable with the life expectancies in Togo and Madagascar (also 57 years). One of the principal reasons for this exceedingly low life expectancy is high rates of alcohol consumption: Today 7% of the male population of Russia is said to be alcohol dependent. As a result about one third of all Russian children live in very difficult circumstances in families affected by alcohol related harm. There is little offer of public services and therapy for addicted people in Russia. Only delinquent addicts are provided some help under the label of “preventive detention” in clinical departments of some prisons. The Blue Cross-Network which was founded in 2005 in St. Petersburg tries to counterbalance the lack of alcohol addiction related services. At present nine partner organizations are included in this network.
Project The IFBC, with the help of collaborators of the Blue Cross of Germany, supports training provided by the Blue Cross-Network in St. Petersburg for voluntary aides and for alcohol dependent people. In the planned family-therapy trainings (2 seminars at 5 days each), as well as regular follow-up in the sense of supervision, voluntary collaborators are trained to become qualified to consult and to accompany families affected by alcohol problems. This concerns families with dependent parents, as well as families with addicted children or youngsters who are ‘at risk’ or already dependent. Issues specific to families are especially delicate in Russia’s social context, because children and wives or partners of alcohol or drug dependent men have no social security. Through their training project, the Blue Cross-Network of St. Petersburg is to be enabled to build up an independent consultation offer and to provide new, more positive directions for the lives of alcohol dependent people.
Project Goal The project pursues its aim to build up a stable structure for long-lasting voluntary support for dependents in St. Petersburg. Voluntary addict assistants are to be enabled to advise and to accompany dependents and to systematically include their families (partners and children) in the therapy process.
Duration 01.10.2009 – 01.10.2010
Budget EURO 59‘500
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