Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway Attends the Opening of the Blue Cross Treatment Center Slemdal

On the 27th of January, 2015, the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, joined the Blue Cross of Norway at the official opening ceremony of a new treatment center in the Slemdal neighborhood of Oslo.

General Secretary of BC Norway, Jan Elverum, said that “In recent years, the Blue Cross (Norway) has been forced to downsize treatment. We now see a new development, which is very gratifying.”

PM Solberg said in her greeting that the Blue Cross Norway continues to be at the forefront of drug rehabilitation. NGOs began offering services at a time when there was lack of treatment available. The Blue Cross operates the nation's oldest institution for treatment of addicts. Rehabilitation is a public responsibility, but we still need private initiatives, she said.

Prime Minister Solberg toured the institution together with staff and patients and was clearly impressed by what she saw. Tom, a client of the center, told her that he was grateful he did not need to wait long when seeking treatment. “I'll be here for at least six months… here I can learn about nutrition, diet and more about training. I hope I can become a personal trainer one day,” he said. Tom is not even 30 years old and has suffered from drug abuse for many years.

The Blue Cross Treatment Center Slemdal was made possible through Solberg’s commitment to buy 200 new beds for treatment of addicts. At Slemdal the Blue Cross has 20 new beds at its disposal.

“We look forward to cooperating with the Blue Cross in Slemdal. They have built a good, new center that offers specialized services. The combination of good professionals and a practical building provides a good framework for treatment, said Unni Aker, a special adviser to the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority.

The Blue Cross Treatment Center Slemdal offers treatment for people who have serious substance abuse and addiction problems. Particular focus is on the age group 18-35 years. The treatment program consists of individual and group-based therapy. The objective is to bring about a change process that provides quality of life and a life without addiction.