At Mini-Forum On
“Alternative Methods In The
Treatment And Rehabilitation Of Addictions” UNODC
Executive Director, A.M. Costa, Paid Tribute To Ngos
VIENNA, 10 April (UN Headquarters) -- A Mini-Forum,
entitled “Alternative Methods in the Treatment and Rehabilitation of
Addictions”, took place on 9 April 2003 at the Vienna International
Centre. It was the first of two fora organized by the Vienna NGO Committee
on Narcotic Drugs in connection with the forty-sixth session of the
Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND).
The initiative re-emphasized the need to promote
partnerships with NGOs at a time when the international community is
taking stock of its achievements and identifying further action required
to meet its 2008 United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS)
Three NGOs from Austria, Germany and Hungary highlighted
the success of using sports, animals and theatre as complementing therapies
for recovering addicts. Activities, such as mountain climbing and soccer,
helped individuals who were undergoing treatment to develop the physical,
psychological and social skills needed to facilitate recovery.
Dr. Thomas Legl, Chairman, NGO Committee, and a former
director at Grüner Kreis Therapeutic Community in Austria, emphasized
that the contact between people and animals filled the emotional void
experienced by many individuals seeking treatment. Playing with and
taking care of animals reduced fears of developing relations and close
ties, and such interaction between addicts and animals therefore constituted
an important part of therapy.
Mr. Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of UNODC,
addressed the forum and congratulated the Vienna NGO Committee on their
initiative. He paid tribute to those NGOs around the world which were
committed to “action” and not just “words”. “To assist drug addicts
is a tremendous commitment to life,” he said.
The forum ended with a theatrical performance by
members of the Leo Amici Foundation, a drug-rehabilitation institution
based in Hungary. Eight members of the group, who were former drug users,
were able to overcome their problem by incorporating drama and music
into their recovery programme.
The event was followed by the opening of an exhibition
to commemorate the Vienna NGO Committee’s twentieth anniversary.
The Mini-Forum was attended by members of the NGO
community, CND delegates and UNOV staff.
* *** *