Published 07/31/2022 00:00 | Updated 07/31/2022 21:31
Abstinence, social isolation and religious routine as “treatment”: this is the model adopted in establishments for the reception of people with disorders resulting from the use of chemical substances, popularly known as “therapeutic communities”. This was revealed by a new study released this week by the Center for Security and Citizenship Studies (CESeC).
Scattered throughout the national territory, the communities have existed since the 60s, but have been gaining strength during the administration of Jair Bolsonaro. At the beginning of 2018, the federal government financed 2,900 vacancies, in December 2021 this number increased to 10,657. The amount financed for these TCs, which was previously an average of 40 million per year, increased to a total of 193.2 million adding the years 2020 and 2021, an average of 97 million per year.
No proven effectiveness
In addition to not being a model guided by the SUS, it does not have any proof of effectiveness, this research recorded several violations committed by the TCs, such as homophobia, transphobia, the lack of action by the Health Surveillance, which should act in the inspection of these establishments but relaxed and turned a “blind eye” to various insalubrities with the justification that ‘anywhere is better than the street’ for the dependents admitted to the clinics.
‘Discipline, spirituality and work’, this is the routine of a chemical dependent hospitalized in a TC. In practice, for the proposed treatment to be effective, the individual needs to participate in all activities, which include a strict religious routine. In addition to isolating from socializing with friends and family (and banning the use of cell phones), the inmate must stop all use of chemical substances (including alcohol and cigarettes) and sexual practices.
“There is no scientific evidence in Brazil that this is an effective method of approach”, comments researcher Paula Napolião in an interview with the Tá Na Rede podcast. “Isolation and complete abstinence is not a method that works for everyone and public policy cannot be exclusive”, she adds.
lack of preparation
In theory, medical follow-up should be routine, but this is not what was reported in the research. Many TCs depend on voluntary follow-up, which occurs on an ad hoc basis. “The main difference between CTs and CAPS AD (Center for Psychosocial Support for Alcohol and Drugs) is precisely the lack of access to public policies in Therapeutic Communities”, adds Paula.
Managers, usually linked directly or indirectly to the church, end up reducing treatment to morals and religiosity, where the individual needs to get rid of worldly issues to get rid of addictions.