As well as rehabilitation, San Patrignano’s mission has always been the prevention of drug abuse; a focus on young or very young people that every day, either directly or indirectly, come into contact with drugs or experience the difficulties typical of adolescence.
For this reason, every year over 6,000 middle and high school pupils visit the rehabilitation community. They talk with residents who are reaching the end of their rehabilitation programme, who tell their stories, explaining the choices they made leading them to drugs and how difficult it is overcoming drug dependency. This direct and unfiltered dialogue helps these youngsters discover the problems linked to drugs, from those who have experienced it firsthand.
As well as opening its doors to the outside world, San Patrignano also takes its drug prevention initiatives all over Italy, thanks to the WeFree project. It does so thanks to two different theatre formats in which those who take the stage to tell their stories are community residents. In 2005, a total of 400 theatre shows were performed, with an overall audience of 230,000 pupils. In addition to this, meetings with young people during school assemblies are held, as are training activities for teachers and parents who often feel helpless in the face of drug dependency, as they do not have the tools to tackle it.