On of the efforts of the Romanian Substance Abuse & Addiction Coalition (ROSAAC) is their focus on the prevention of alcohol – and drug-abuse. To prevent is always better then to heal! Reality thought us however that many persons either never received the right prevention and end up in the abuse of addictive substances or get dependent despite all the prevention-efforts that were made.
Statistics mention that at this very moment Romania counts approximately 2 million alcoholics and 300.000 – 500.000 persons dependent to drugs. The capacity for treatment, if we add all the services (inpatient, outpatient) is estimated to be 0.20-0.25% (sources: ANA 2007, 2008; Degi, 2010.) The alcohol related mortality rate is 2.7 times higher in Romania than in the other European countries (EU: 82.88 / 100.000; RO: 220 / 100.000) – source WHO 2008, 2010. Unofficial these numbers certainly are much higher. Psychiatry and harm reduction (needle exchange and distribution of methadone and condoms) seems to be the only offering on behalf of the Romanian Government. Unfortunately it is well known that these approaches mostly do not bring recovery (cure) to those that are dependent, it only takes care of them for a while.
ROSAAC offers 114 places for residential / inpatient treatment (24 hours a day / 7 days a week) at this very moment and 464 places for outpatient treatment / counseling. Being aware of the tremendous need for those that are dependent and their family-members ROSAAC needs to enlarge its capacity for counseling and treatment. One day of residential treatment costs average 80-100 RON. We request the Romanian Government to take note of our efforts and contribute in the costs that ROSAAC organizations daily make. Until now are only financed from abroad.
When it comes to the point of recovery, or guiding those persons that got dependent to abstinence and a successful re-integration in the Romanian Society, ROSAAC has a diversity of treatment models that can be offered in different places and counties in Romania . ROSAAC offers as well outpatient, day-care and inpatient treatment. The adapted models vary from the 12 step approach, Minnesota Model, Portache Model, Teen Challenge Model, Mana Deschisa Model (specialized in addiction and the treatment of attachment disorders). As well men and women are welcome and in one of our organizations addicted women and their children are taken care of. ROSAAC is unfortunately one of the very few options for recovery based treatment in Romania. ROSAAC believes in the feasibility of abstinence, recovery and re-integration. Many of our clients become fully integrated members of society. The ROSAAC organizations, until now, did not receive support from the Romanian Government. Despite this, we will continue our efforts!
ROSAAC is sadly aware that once again the Romanian law modification does not pay attention to prevention and treatment. ROSAAC considers that in the last days eight more substances were included as illegal drugs in the law, but still ethno botanic shops are alive and well. Governmental prevention would mean, as far as we believe, that the Romanian Government would act decisive against this threat of the spiritual, emotional and finally physical wellbeing of our youth. More than 20 million addicts worldwide do not have access to any treatment. Reasons for this will be lack of finances, lack of vision, policy, no concern and other. The truth is that keeping an addict in his addiction costs a government far more then treatment. I mean the costs for medical assistance (family-doctors, hospitals, emergency, ambulances, medicines), police, court, judges, lawyers, prison and unemployment. Not to speak of the medical costs for the family that suffers as much as the addict himself.
President of ROSAAC