Poland lacks social reintegration programmes for people addicted to psychoactive substances. Reintegration of these people is limited to post-treatment support in inpatient rehabilitation centres. For socially excluded people in treatment, these programmes are not available, which affects the quality of substitution treatment or antiretroviral (ARV) therapy. We chose the Podlaskie Province as the site for the project activities for several reasons, including the small offer of assistance, low investment in treatment and the lack of many essential services. The Podlaskie Province is, above all, deprived of social reintegration and substitution treatment programmes (as one of two such provinces). Moreover, the level of substitution treatment in Poland is one of the lowest in Europe.
In our country, only about 2,800 persons receive it (including 1,400 in Warsaw), while in the whole of Europe approx. 650,000 people. In order to receive substitution treatment, addicts from the Podlaskie Province have been migrating mainly to Warsaw for years, and there they find themselves in a homelessness crisis due to the lack of places in shelters. They also become victims of narcophobic discrimination.
In this project, we offer integrated support to addicts: a shelter with 24-hour care, support from a therapist and lawyer, staying in a safe and corrective environment. We create appropriate facilities for the organisation of social economy activities. The services provided by the project are designed to assist the beneficiaries in the effective use of substitution treatment, antiretroviral therapy (ARV) or treatment for HCV infection. We combine our support services with recreational and educational activities, for which we use our camping base in Augustów, which was very popular with our clients during the summer months of 2021-2022.