A RECOVERING COMMUNITY: SAN PATRIGNANO

la_comunita_san_patrignano.zoomI visited San Patrignano, a recovery community in Rimini, Italy, for four days last week, where 1,500 people are in residence, all committed to learning how to live a full and healthy life without drugs. The community was started in 1978 by Vincenzo Muccioli, and the program requires a commitment of three to five years, is free to the person and to tax payers, teaches each person to work in one of fifty sectors (graphics, cooking, woodshop, building, plumbing, weaving, design) and has a documented recovery rate of 73 percent after three years of exiting the community (three studies completed the University of Bologna). There are many models for recovery, and this is one.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5F-Gz9iDAA)

(http://www.sanpatrignano.org/en)

My reflection: When Jeff was in active addiction, he refused the option of San Patrignano. “Three to five years,” he said incredulously. “You’ve got to be kidding.” When I told a publicist in New York City about San Patrignano’s model, she said dismissively, “No one cares what they do in Italy. We are the United States.” Jeff was in 12 different short and long-term treatment centers in the United States over a 14-year period.

Today’s Promise to consider: There are many models for recovering from drugs and alcohol. Education is critical. Learning about different models for long-term care might help save my loved one’s life. I can’t force my loved one into recovery, but I can learn about and offer him options.

 

 

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pat nichols
pat nichols
7 years ago

I have studied this recovery community and it is quite unique and remarkable in many different respects. I have also spoken to other parents who did send their child to San Patrignao and each were very pleased.

I wanted desperately to send my son there but with felonies on his record due to his addiction I could not obtain a passport for him.

If I win the lottery I will buy an island somewhere and mimic San Patrigno. This is the type of program that our addicted children desperately need. We can not expect our addicted children to recovery with a 30, 90 or even 120 day program. They need extended care and that takes years not months.

There are other programs similar to San Patrigno in Canada and I believe Seattle but the key to San Patigno is it’s in a foreign country a long way from the United States.

joy
joy
7 years ago

I want to go there now. Take everyone I know and love. PAt, I’ll help you if I win the lotto. Similar issues here.

I’m watching my son doing on one day at a time -narc anon, personal counselling and addictions counselling. Medication for deep depression.

Sometimes, he says it is all too much. And he just needs to chill. And not have work of recovery always in his face. But it is.

Still, there is much to celebrate in active recovery! Even after reality of relapse.

Education is key and the learning never ends.

ON we go to create our own healing spaces.

Romana
Romana
7 years ago

I agree with Pat. 30 days or 6 months is “not” enough time for an addict to receive proper rehabilitation. They need daily structure and the psycho-social type of environment that san patrignano offers. They absolutely cannot be cured in even months; it takes years of a new structured environment and the diligent work and support of everyone at sanpa.
If you talk to any of the people there many will tell you that at the beginning they did not like but with time they grew to love the new lifestyle and feel a new sense of worth!
THIS IS WHAT THE ADDICT NEEDS FOR “REAL” REHABILITATION!!! We need to contact local, state, and federal governments to get this started in our country.
It is also an alternative to prison and the time served there is better than prison and decreases recedivism greatly as opposed to coming out of prison and going back to old ways because that is all they knew…
this country needs to ban together to get the ball rolling and start a SanPatrignano here. The one in Italy is a testament to what real rehabilitation is but it is not big enough for all the addicts that exist. The European and Asian world is studying them to re create it their own countries.
this week there is a world workshop that ends the 15th of this month so people can learn from their model!
wish I could have been there.

Sue
Sue
7 years ago

The last addictions doctor my daughter saw was very compassionate and she felt safe with him. When we first met with him and discussed treatments I remember him saying that rehabs were definatly an option but that Sara would have come out at some point and face the world and life around her. She would need to learn better mechanisms to do this (he said this in a much better way than I have here).

That reality really scared me. The world, society and life are difficult at the best of times let alone trying to put your life back in order after tearing it all apart. There is very little compassion in society for addicts so its no wonder many slip back into the world of drugs.

This program sets addicts up for life by giving them the tools they need in a supportive understanding environment. Why we don’t have many more programs like this is beyond me. Surely they would be a financial alternative to jail.

Pat you mentioned other programs similar in Canada. Do you know the name of this program? I would like to check it out.

pat nichols
pat nichols
7 years ago
Reply to  Sue

Sue,

Here are some of the resources I found in looking back through my files. However, I did not find the one in Canada. This was back in 2010 to 2011.

Hope these help.

http://www.cenikor.org

http://www.italoeuropeo.com/focus/deepening/1259-san-patrignano-opens-in-london

http://www.delanceystreetfoundation.org

Sue
Sue
7 years ago

Thanks Pat I will look into these.

Pat Garber
Pat Garber
7 years ago

when I emailed admissions at San Patrignano, I received a response that due to visa restrictions U S citizens were not being admitted.

I had shown the website to my son who was interested. Another disappointment. Any ideas for closer similar programs?

Blanca Gonzalez
Blanca Gonzalez
4 years ago
Reply to  libbycataldi

I posted another comment just a few min. ago, my addicted love one’s dad’s nationality is Italian & from Milan. Would this be helpful? Let me know how to advocate for more places like San Patrignano here in the USA! They gotta do something, this country’s drug epidemic (particularly opiates/h) is WAY out of control!!

Tracy
Tracy
7 years ago

Hi Libby,

Thank you so much for the information. When in the midst of my daughter’s active addiction I searched high and low, day and night trying to find answers. I found comfort by websites from other parents and I can not thank you enough for your words of wisdom and resources through continued education. Now, two years later my daughter now diagnosed with bi-polar (sober for two years) uses her love for knowledge to continue to thrive transferring next year to UC Berkley…of course as you know the road is long and requires love, support, boundaries. As a parent, I think this experience (hidden scars yet vivid memories) makes you want to reach out to other families. I feel so many families suffer in silence and I would love to see if the US can model San Patrignano? I absolutely agree that the majority of inmates are filling our jails and prisons due to addiction. I think if we had access to free programs like San Patrignano we would not have such overcrowding as well as repeat offenders. I will continue my research and would appreciate and welcome any ideas for modeling a program like this in the US. I know when I was searching for long term treatment options I personally hit so many walls…not to mention my insurance company was absolutely horrible to deal with…we definitely need to change our model in the US because addiction is truly an epidemic in this country.

robin marley
robin marley
7 years ago

I am trying to reach libbycataldi to find out about a US
child getting into San Patrignano. My son was in contact with them and had two skype interviews but they just kept telling him he could not get a Visa; this was back in
October. He then relapsed & went off the radar. I have located him and want to begin the process again of trying to get him to Italy. Could you put me in touch with the woman who’s son got in. Also I want to know if anyone is in the process of fund raising to build such a place here in the U.S. I would like to participate in any such project. Thank you, Robin

Jeri
Jeri
7 years ago
Reply to  robin marley

I would also like information on how to get my son into San Petrignano. I have made several requests on the website with no reply. Any info is appreciated.

Jeri
Jeri
7 years ago
Reply to  libbycataldi

Thank you Libby. I have recently been in contact with San Patrignano admissions. They have been very helpful and comforting. We have started gathering info on a visa. We are hopeful! I have read your book a million times
and have watched the video with you and Jeff just as many times! Truly inspirational at times when I felt like nobody I knew could relate to me. Thank you so much!!

Loretta DAgostino
Loretta DAgostino
6 years ago
Reply to  libbycataldi

I am also having trouble getting a long term visa for my son to go to san patrignano! We have everything needed and he has been accepted but we can not get a medical visa from the Philadelphia Italian Embassy! My son has been waiting 4 months….any suggestions? Before i have to bury my son?

David (San Francisco)
David (San Francisco)
3 years ago

Hi Loretta, I am in the visa process now, collecting necessary information. Can you let me know what type of problems you had, and if successful, how you managed it?

Jeri
Jeri
7 years ago
Reply to  libbycataldi

Dear Libby, would it be possible for you to put me in touch with any families that have been to San P? I would love go hear more about it and their experiences.
Thoughts and prayers to you and your family and to all searching for ways to be supportive.
Jeri Ann

Jeff Bowers
Jeff Bowers
7 years ago

I have a son with mental health issues ( ADHD ) meds and street drug addictions. He is 29 now and in and out of provincial prisons here in Canada. Offences are minor but seem to be escalating. He hda been on this journey for ten years now.

I have studied San Pats model, organized a skype intake meeting with him and then he disappears and ends up in jail again. This time he will be in for 5 months, the longest he has been stable on meds and without street drugs. He likes the idea of Italy but continues to say ” If it was one or two years I would go”. I have heard this over and over. His Mother and I do not enable. He has not lived at home for six years but I do visit with him and encourage him.

I am hoping by way of this note to find folks that have sons or daughters that have attended San Pat’s and would be interested to share their experience with my son. We do not have anything in Canada that comes close to this long term program.

Please help us !

Sincerly

Jeff Bowers
Jeff Bowers
7 years ago

I have a son with mental health issues ( ADHD ) meds and street drug addictions. He is 29 now and in and out of provincial prisons here in Canada. Offences are minor but seem to be escalating. He hda been on this journey for ten years now.

I have studied San Pats model, organized a skype intake meeting with him and then he disappears and ends up in jail again. This time he will be in for 5 months, the longest he has been stable on meds and without street drugs. He likes the idea of Italy but continues to say ” If it was one or two years I would go”. I have heard this over and over. His Mother and I do not enable. He has not lived at home for six years but I do visit with him and encourage him.

I am hoping by way of this note to find folks that have sons or daughters that have attended San Pat’s and would be interested to share their experience with my son. We do not have anything in Canada that comes close to this long term program.

Please help us !

Sincerely

Jeff

Betty
Betty
7 years ago

I found this website as I have a close American friend who is looking for a way for a relative to enter San Pa. I have a daughter (we are English) who has now been in SanPa for just over two years. The change in her is phenomenal I would encourage any potential “entrant” to persevere, I just thought that a personal message might give encouragement.

Marja
Marja
7 years ago

Hi there, I just found this website as i wa googling what the wait period is to get into San Pa. My cousin has been in touch with them via phone and email and is waiting a reply. We are in Australia. He has finally decided that he needs to do something drastic to change/save his life and is very excited, however i am a little nervous that he will be waiting too long to get the ball rolling and lose the optimisum. Also wondering if people from Aus (or other countries) can get into Italy for an extended period on a study visa. Is San Pa an accredited training organisation or can you only get in on a medical visa?
Many thanks for your help! Marja

Marja
Marja
7 years ago

Thanks Libby! That all sounds very positive. Any idea from anyone how long the average wait period is?
He hadnt heard back as of yesterday but is going to email them again today with more questions and some additional thoughts on why he is determined to come to San Pa. Do you think it is better to email or call or both?
Any other tips on how to get accepted would be great 🙂

Leda Sturtevant
Leda Sturtevant
6 years ago

Fantastic blog post , I was enlightened by the information ! Does anyone know where my business could locate a sample 2008 CA Disc-020 document to fill in ?

angel deruvo
6 years ago

My son Michael has been in and out of rehabs since the age of 15. I am first generation American. I would like to obtain a visa for my son so he can go to this place of miracles.
angelderuvo

Loretta DAgostino
Loretta DAgostino
6 years ago
Reply to  angel deruvo

I am also having trouble getting a long term visa for my son to go to san patrignano! We have everything needed and he has been accepted but we can not get a medical visa from the Philadelphia Italian Embassy! My son has been waiting 4 months….any suggestions? Before i have to bury my son?

Maureen Fahy
Maureen Fahy
5 years ago

I hope your son made it in to San Petrignano.

Blanca Gonzalez
Blanca Gonzalez
4 years ago

This looks amazing! Mine is currently in rehab here in the US (already did inpatient 3 months) & now same program outpatient, as far as I’m concerned. I’m still keeping my eyes opened by staying connected (mostly looking) in case she relapses & asks for help. However, she’s 35yrs. old & with a baby whose actually with her. I doubt she’d agree moving that far away for 3yrs. (especially to a different country) & into another continent without her child. I’m way 2 old to volunteer into taking such a big responsibility @ my age (raising someone that young) since baby’s currently 6 months old!!

libbycataldi
libbycataldi
4 years ago

Dear Bianca,

San Patrignano is an amazing and healing place where recovery happens. If your daughter’s father was born in Italy, then she may be able to get a Visa easily to stay in Italy for three-to-five years. San Pa accepts children, too, and they have an incredible ‘mother’s village’ where all the mothers stay together with their children.

Look at the San Patrignano website where you’ll find how to approach admission. The addicted loved one has to want to attend and there is an interview involved. You can also call. Many people in admission speak English, or her Italian father can call.

I’ll stay close in hope.