Drug and Alcohol Policy in Brazil – A Lasting Impact!
On 17.09.2014 representatives from the Blue Cross Barzil participated in an audience with the Brazilian Minister of Justice, Eduardo Cardoso, on the subject of Drug Policy in Brazil. Under the umbrella of the National Federation of Therapeutic Communities – CONFENACT - Egon Schlüter (Project Coordinator – BC Brazil) and Rolf Hartmann (President BC Brazil and IFBC Board Member) represented the Blue Cross Brazil in a discussion about a new policy that will recognize Therapeutic Communities as organizations that are eligible to receive social benefits. They proposed an amendment of the legal framework to facilitate access to Certificates of Charitable Entities i.e. subsidies from the government of up to 50% of the cost of operations. Additionally, it was requested of the government to revise the budget for 2015 to include support for projects in the area of prevention, support network of family and social reintegration of addicts. To date these communities serve as many as 7000 patients, with a view to increase to 10,000 next year.
According to the Brazilian National Drug Report 2009 an estimated 12.3% of the adult urban population in Brazil suffers from dependence on alcohol, making alcohol misuse a significant public health issue. Blue Cross Brazil is providing treatment and aftercare services mainly in the three Southern states of Santa Catarina, Paranà and Rio Grande do Sul, where alcohol and drug use is most prevalent. The organization collaborates with 12 affiliated treatment centers that employ the therapeutic community approach and provide stationary treatment to more than 1500 clients per year.