EFTC Press Release

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Monday, 25th May 2009



Embargo: For immediate release

Contacts: Rowdy Yates, Vice President (Teaching & Research) +44 (0) 1786 467737 (office)

The European Federation of Therapeutic Communities (EFTC) moved swiftly today to condemn the violent practices apparently sanctioned within the Serbian rehabilitation service, Crna Reka.

Rowdy Yates, Vice President of the EFTC – Europe’s largest and longest established network of drug-free rehabilitation providers - said today:

“I have worked in the addiction treatment field for more than 35 years and in that time I’ve seen some unpleasant and unhelpful practices masquerading as treatment. But this is simply appalling. The beating of vulnerable people in this way is inexcusable and to claim that this constitutes rehabilitative treatment is completely false. Such practices are inhuman, brutish and, actually, untherapeutic!”

The EFTC was moved to release a statement when numerous press reports carried the story of residents being beaten as part of their “treatment” and claimed that Crna Reka – a service run by Serbian Orthodox priest Branislav Peranovic – was a therapeutic community.

“It certainly isn’t a therapeutic community!” said Rowdy Yates. “Therapeutic communities are a respected and well-established treatment method. Our expectation of our members is absolutely clear; violence, even the threat of violence, is not tolerated. Crna Reka is neither a therapeutic community nor is it a member of the EFTC”.

Since the organisation posted a video of a resident being beaten with a spade, numerous individuals have expressed their horror but the EFTC is thought to be the first major treatment provider network to publicly condemn the practice.

The EFTC is shortly to host a major conference in the Netherlands and it is expected that a more formal statement will be issued at that time.

Rowdy Yates
Vice President (Teaching and Research)
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