Country, Date of election
József Rácz is developing voluntary, community- and peer-based forms of treatment for underprivileged Hungarian drug addicts living in large housing projects.
Despite the fact that the number of different drug users is constantly growing in Hungary (6% of Budapest’s population has some kind of drug addiction), complex institutions of a kind which could provide comprehensive medical, legal and social services for psychoactive drug users are almost totally absent.
The results are the public support of local communities, which have facilitated the establishment of a professional organization (this became the Blue Point Drug Counseling Center) and also the creation of a training program involving person oriented assistance (this is the addictology consultant course at the Semmelweis University). Later these initiatives led to the establishment of the first professional national drug strategy (2000) and the making of policy decisions (for instance low–threshold, harm–reduction interventions related to drug users).
The Blue Point provides a form of assistance which is community based, person oriented and professional at the same time. It provides and helps those imperiled groups who lack supervision but does not treat them merely as medical cases, care being shown to the realities of the users’ problems. Blue Point offers several services from psychiatric help to prevention for those in need.
His goal is to develop Blue Point Drug Counseling Center professionally and forge strong relationships with academic institutions from the field. This way a strong professional and methodological center could be established for the treatment of addictology problems in Hungary.
He had been working for a long time with those groups of young people whose members could not take advantage of ‘traditional’ medical or social assistance. The turning point was
a study trip to London where he discovered a number of institutions which were working with young people with similar problems. Later on these same institutions implemented the Rácz method.