Triple R final conference in Zagreb, Croatia

The Triple R project is coming to an end after two years for intense work, sharing expertise, best practices and challenges in the field of recovery.

The Final conference organized by the Triple R Croatian partners, NGO Stijena, Ngo Institut Pula and San Patrignano Association Split, took place on November 15-16 in Zagreb, Croatia and gathered more than 70 participants and featured high level Croatian and international speakers.

In the opening session, Mr. Petkovic, director of the Office for Combatting Drug Abuse in Croatia, greeted the audience commemorating the National Day against drugs, along with Dr. Kamaric from the  Croatian Ministy of Healh, Mr. Penic from the  Croatian Ministry of Justice and Dr. Celic, Director of the Double diagnosis Department at Vrapce.

Project partners presented the Triple R best practices during session one. San Patrignano, the project coordinator, shared some insights on its drug free long-term and residential rehabilitation program in the community, CeIS Rome presented the work of its center in Rome, Popov GGZ provided an overview of the Belgian Drug Court intervention, Dianova Spain highlighted the Dianova methodology, treatment and approaches around the country and Basta Sweden shared the work and achievements of the self-sustainable user run social enterprise offering drug rehabilitation programs.

Session 2 was dedicated to the highlights of the Triple R project, namely the presentation of the 3 project outcomes: the Triple R HERMESS model on rehabilitation and recovery, the Triple R MCCORRE model on justice intervention and the Triple R ARES model on social reintegration. The models and the related guidelines are extensively illustrated in the thematic publications of the project and available for download in the Triple R website www.tripler-project.eu.

Day 1 culminated with the guest keynote speech by Prof. David Best from the Sheffield Hallam University, elaborating on the concept of recovery and providing examples of its successful implementation in UK, US and Australia. In his intervention, Prof. Best underlined the importance of allowing time in the recovery project, as well as investing in job training and education – defined meaningful activities – as pivotal elements promoting the success of the recovery journey.

The second day of the conference presented the best practices in Croatia. NGO Stijena, NGO Institut Pula and San Patrignano Association Split, had the opportunity to speak about their own work in recovery and social reintegration programs. Furthermore, Antonio Molina, from the Universidad Computense Madrid offered an overview of the results of the feasibility study undertaken in Croatia, assessing needs, expectations in the country and providing concrete suggestions on seed projects to be developed in the future. Some of the Triple R proposals have been already implemented in a small scale and are expected to have a multiplier effect in the country, stimulating new activities.

Moreover, the project evaluation was presented and will be made available soon for download on the Triple R webpage.

The conference concluded with a roundtable, moderated by Boro Goic, President of RUN – Recovered Users Netowork, featuring international and national speakers, sharing their own conclusions and thoughts on the Triple R project. Among the contributors: Ms. Senjak from the Croatian Employment Bureau, Dr. Dragica Katalinić, Head of Department for Epidemiology of Addiction and Erik Sorheim from EURAD, with contributions from the audience by Dr. David Best and others. All stressed the importance of the project, congratulated the partners for the results achieved and welcomed Triple R as an opportunity to go beyond the paradigm of harm reduction, providing concrete tools, guidelines and food for though for all the actors involved in the recovery movement.

We all expect the Triple R legacy to continue far longer than the actual end of the project and we truly hope that the project publications and results will further support and inspire all whose who want to make recovery a success in Europe and in the world.