Social Reintegration

Social Reintegration Unit

OKANA'S Social Reintegration Unit was inaugurated in September 2000 with its full treatment and administrative potential in place.

The main objective of this Unit is to provide psychosocial support in order to contribute to a gradual and smooth social and labour market reintegration of persons who have detoxified following a substitution programme. Programme duration ranges from 12 to 24 months. There is a special Unit section for persons who are still on methadone, have shown treatment compliance and are considered to be able to find and keep a job in view of their smooth social reintegration.

The Social Reintegration Unit offers individual, group and family therapy, as well as constant follow-up of the clients' physical and menthal heath. As long as they are on the programme, they can either receive medication or be referred for further hospitalisation. Naltrexone has been shown to help some clients stay away from drugs.

The Social Reintegration Unit encourages members to participate in cultural and sports activities of the greater community, as well as in the programmes run by OKANA'S Specialised Social and Professional Reintegration Centre (EKKEE). OKANA works together with the National Manpower Organisation (OAED) to enable clients benefit from the 'Freelancer Grants Programme' or the 'Grants Programme for hiring former users'.

The legal support provided aims to help unit 'graduates' clear their criminal record (convictions for drug-related and property crimes can be removed from their criminal record following a court ruling to that effect). Keeping in touch with them is an additional input to abstinence, and to their effort to find a job.


Vocational Training Centers

In 1998 OKANA was certified by the National Certification Centre (EKEPIS) as a Specialised Vocational Training Centre (the Athens EKEK), and in 2002 as a Specialised Social and Professional Reintegration Centre (EKKEE). OKANA's EKKEE in Thessaloniki was established in June 2003.

EKKEE's main objective is to provide training and specialisation in several professions for persons detoxifying or having detoxified, so as to smoothly reintegrate them in society and in the labour market. In addition, awareness raising is under way among professional organisations, businesses and employers about the need to promote employment for trainees, and to put the special hiring incentives provided for by the national legislation to good account.

Besides vocational training, trainees can get in touch with employer organizations, benefit from job moderation, get advice on starting/running/joining a business/company or on legal, insurance, tax etc. matters.

EKΕΕ also provides additional support services, e.g. information and awareness raising about programme participation, career guidance, psychological support boosting self-confidence, and advice about improving one's social communication and interaction skills in the context of the labour market. This programme is run in close liaison with the Ministry of Labour and the local bodies involved.

Athens EKKEE: 29, Pyrla St., 11145 Athens, Τel.: (+30)210 8544819-20, Fax: (+30)210 8544819-20

Thessaloniki EKKEE: 4, Monastiriou St., 54629 Thessaloniki, Τel.: (+30)2310 566136-7, Fax: (+30)2310 548187

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