I 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.
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.