Today I went for the second time to a club run by a local NGO for drug users and those who are current users and those rehabilitated to come and talk and relax and or see the on hand psychiatrist to help them with the many struggles associated with addiction and staying clean. I’ve just gone there mainly to listen and here their stories and talk to the staff who are very dedicated to helping these ones without being critical and condemning as I realize as much as you might just want to say “you stupid, don’t do that” once they are into heroin or other hard drugs it really does not help as it has to be their own decision and determination to quite and want to do more with their lives. It is agonizing to see, but they are all adults and have made those choices for themselves and have to want to change in their mind first, and when they do they are here to help.
I really do not know much about this at this time but am quite interested in this program as drugs is one of the biggest social problems in Croatia and particularly in coastal towns like Rijeka and Split. Some of my friends and I volunteer there every two weeks now and just converse with them to give them understanding and learn about them, some come from broken homes and bad childhoods, are single parents etc. no one I’ve seen yet was a current user smacked-out at the time but I hear at night or weekends (as it is a 24 hour center) it gets hard users on hard drugs that can be real intense even for the trained staff but that is life and the awful truth even in this paradise.
I’d like to help more and maybe accompany the staff one night or go on a needle exchange field operation to have more first-hand understanding of this program to better relate to those that come from this and what they are up against here in this city.