How are drug addicts treated in Butyrka?


In our “their experience” column today we will talk about help to people with addictions, who are in prison now.

In December 2013 Federal Service of Execution of Punishments of Russia (FSEP) opened the first in its structure center for rehabilitation of drug addicted who are guarded (convicted persons, accused and addicted). The center is situated in psychiatric hospital near the city investigation insulator #2, more well-known as “Butyrka”.

What’s this

Then it was developed as a pilot project and with getting experience in the FSEP there was planned to open such centers all over the country. So, five years later we are here to find out how is everything going.

The floor where the center is situated is equipped with necessary facilities and is like home as far as it is possible in a place like this. For the successful therapy of addicted people, the atmosphere of recovery is very important.  And besides this is important when you are almost twenty and more eleven years of prison are ahead. At the day of our visit the atmosphere was as required.  

How are drug addicts treated in Butyrka
“Butyrka” Moscow, st. Novoslobodskaya 45. The prison was opened in 1879

The center is developed for 30 people, at current moment almost half of places are free. Two persons live in each camera.  Although one of the staff told us that if desired there could be 8 people in the camera. There is a room for group work, for lessons on art therapy, sports facilities, sewing workshop.

The local know-how

The staff includes clinical psychologist, social worker, and the «Boleslav». This is a magneto-turbotron device therapy that forms magnetic fields of various direction and frequencies in the people’s organism which leads to improving of microcirculation, speeds up the metabolic processes as well as optimizes energy exchange processes. The magneto-turbotron is used for curing a number of diseases of nervous system as well as for depressions and  neuroses. It finds its application for complex therapy of drug addiction, alcoholism and immunodeficiency. That is why it is here. But one was not allowed even to see it, not talking about trying to use it.

The rehabilitation program in this center varies from three months to one year. Then the patients go to the colony or are released. They can be directed to centers where they can continue their rehabilitation programs or attend the groups (AA/NA groups).

Instead of epilogue

At the exit from the prison the guard asked us what we have done there. We answered that shared experience of abstinent life. So, he asked: “And this helped?”

We share our experience of recovery – these are not just talks. This is one of important parts in the complex approach to therapy of addictions.

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