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From Crisis to Care: Deflection in Action

Villa Maraini in Rome stands out for its unique and innovative approach to drug-related crisis management. Its diversion and deflection programs, unlike traditional methods, prioritize public health and compassionate responses over punitive actions.

The Emergency Response Unit at Villa Maraini 

This unit stands as a critical fixture in Rome’s response to drug-related emergencies. Equipped with medical professionals, social workers, and Red Cross volunteers, the unit operates a 24/7 hotline, addressing drug overdoses and related crises promptly. Its ability to administer naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal medication, underscores its life-saving mission, coupled with offering opioid substitution therapy to support recovery and prevent future crises.

Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) Program 

Villa Maraini’s ATI program offers a humane alternative to incarceration for drug-related offenses. Starting within the prison system, it assesses individuals through psychological evaluations to gauge their readiness for alternative measures. Those eligible can move to a residential rehabilitation setting that provides comprehensive treatment and emphasizes social reintegration, underscoring the program’s holistic approach to rehabilitation.

Impact and Future Directions 

Villa Maraini’s programs reflect a shift towards more humane and effective drug policy frameworks. They not only alleviate the criminal justice system but significantly enhance the health outcomes for individuals impacted by drug use. Plans include formalizing pre-arrest diversion protocols with local police and promoting a health-centered approach to drug-related issues.

Villa Maraini’s efforts represent a significant paradigm shift in community approaches to drug crises and offenses. By prioritizing health and rehabilitation, these programs embody the principles of the Rome Consensus 2.0, providing a replicable model for global drug policy reform.