Russian Church opening free drug rehab center in Moscow

Moscow, August 16, 2019

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The Russian Orthodox Church will open a new drug rehabilitation center in Moscow on August 20. The center, located at the Church of the Life-creating Trinity in the Zamoskvorecheye District, will be the first free non-governmental outpatient rehab center in the capital, reports the press service of the Synodal Department for Charity and Social Services.

The “Rehabilitation Live” center will provide an intensive, 6-days-a-week, 3-month course, with work in groups and individual support throughout the year. Up to 15 people, both men and women, will be able to go through the course at the same time.

The opening will be celebrated by His Grace Bishop Thomas of Bronnitsy, who will bless the premises, the director of the center and head of the Department’s work with addicts Alexei Lazarev, priests, center staff, and former addicts who have been rehabilitated in Church projects.

“Many believe that helping drug addicts is a secondary matter, that they should deal with their problems themselves. But drug addicts need support no less than other people in trouble,” said the Department Chairman His Grace Bishop Panteleimon of Orekhovo. “The Church is ready to accept everyone—the main thing is that the person himself wants to correct his life, to defeat his addiction. The doors of our new center will be open to all regardless of religion, age or citizenship.”

The staff of the center includes psychologists, chemical addiction consultants, and a social worker to help with future employment. The center will also hold regular meetings with clergy and will provide art and film therapy. Patients will be able to undergo a medical examination at the Church’s St. Alexei, Metropolitan of Moscow Hospital if desired.

The center is joint-organized by the Synodal Department and the Charitable Foundation of St. John of Kronstadt. A 3-month project was run with the Orthodox TV channel Spas in the spring, over the course of which the audience donated $3,500 (231,000 rubles), which was used to repair the building now being used for the center at the Church of the Holy Trinity.

There are more than 500 active anti-alcoholism projects in Russia today under the auspices of the Russian Church, including more than 70 inpatient rehab centers for long-term addicts, more than 60 counseling centers, and 18 centers of resocialization and other secondary structures. At least 10 new aid structures for addicts are opened every year.

Last year, a new rehabilitation center was opened at the Monastery of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers in Ganina Yama, built on the site where the bodies of the last Russian Royal Family were dumped after they were brutally murdered.

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