Drug Abuse in the Italian Region of Puglia
“Drugs in Puglia, Red Alert,” blared the title of one of the main Italian newspapers, La Republica, in 2007. A strong title, that definitely caused a sensation, but not without reason.
At the time, it was up to the Mayor of Bari, the capital city of the region, to launch this appeal, describing a situation that could not pass unnoticed, referring mainly to the trafficking and consumption of cocaine in the city. At the time, the seaport of Bari, one of the most important commercial hubs of the Italian coast, was also a major heroin traffic center, with almost 70 kilos of the drug seized in 2006. Official reports of the same year stated that eleven thousand people requested assistance in the public services for drug addiction of the region, but mentioned also 16 deaths from overdoses, half of which were in the city of Bari.
The Situation Today
What has changed in the scenario of drugs in this particular region of Italy after a few years? And, if anything did actually change, in what way? According to the annual report of the Italian Direzione Centrale dei Servizi Antidroga in 2014, the Puglia region has become a major conduit for cannabis products entering Italy. In Bari, 8,123 kg of hashish were seized and 4,813 kg of marijuana. In Lecce, 15,382 kg of marijuana were seized and in Taranto, more than 51,000 kg of drugs were seized, nearly all of it marijuana. In addition to these cannabis products, 816 kg of heroin and 618 kg of cocaine were also taken by police in these three areas.
Since only a small fraction of all drugs passing through any country is actually located by law enforcement, these numbers only represent the tip of a vast iceberg—drug trafficking and drug abuse—that unfortunately continues to grow every day, while public authorities and citizens can only speculate over its real proportions and ramifications.
The Narconon Program in Puglia
Narconon has been active in Puglia since 1992 and is an integral part of the regional and national network of drug rehab centers. The key to the success of the Narconon drug rehab program is in its unique and innovative approach. The Narconon program takes drug addicts step by step along their rehabilitation journey from the withdrawal phase, without using any other drug as substitute and, nevertheless, overcoming the withdrawal symptoms with minimal discomfort; to the body detoxification achieved through a regimen of exercise, saunas and nutrition; after that the individual can focus on a true personal rehabilitation through an educational program where he or she learns again—often for the first time—to address and solve those same problems that would have been intolerable before without the “aid” of drugs or alcohol.
In Puglia, the Narconon Center Il Gabbiano is specialized in any kind of drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation, with a high quality of service and professionalism. Up to this day, Narconon Center Il Gabbiano has successfully helped more than 1,000 drug and alcohol addicts from all over Italy.