Welcome to Preporod (Rebirth)!
Preporod is an organisation for helping addicts of psychoactive substances and their families. We have existed since 2006 and we are most experienced in treatment of addiction outside of the institutions of the Montenegrin system. We have particularly developed various services to support and help addicts and their families. We realise that life has much more worthwhile things than the everyday search for the substances that one is addicted to and we want to pass this understanding on to others. In the fight against addiction and when choosing colleagues and partners, we trust only results.
Speech delivered by the founder of Preporod, on the celebration of 10 years of work
At the very beginning of this night I feel like I should remember guys and girls I knew and those I didn’t know, who could stand here beside me but either didn’t get or didn’t use their opportunity. I ask you to take a minute of silence to remember these people.
First of all, thank you for coming and taking your time to share with us these specifically important moments.
While I was writing this speech my feelings and memories were rising. I am sure it is impossible for me to say all I think you should hear to make a clear image what we have passed through for these ten years.
I wouldn’t like that someone finds fault with us, so we have only friends here tonight, only people who have helped our work, encouraged us, understood us for all these years, forgiven us, only those who have been and are part of us.
I’ve got excellent directors among my friends, but I didn’t ask to help me with the concept of this night. The scenario was written by the attitude of our hearts. How would you like it, I don’t know.
I know there are a few people who will stand here on this stage tonight and say something and I will try to be as short as I can be to leave the space for them to speak. But anyway, I have to recall the beginnings shortly and share it with you.
After 10 years of work in the field of help and support to persons who have a problem of misuse of psychoactive substances and their families as well as overall contribution in the field of addiction, we can say that we firmly stand on the way of goals set long time ago. Just to remember, in that 2006 there were no conditions for long stationary addiction treatment in Montenegro. I can dare say that almost nothing was known about communes and therapeutic communities. The idea that somebody who himself was an addict can help you, that was inconceivable and wasn’t seen before in Montenegro. However, being released myself, as it is said in the Bible, I had to put the lamp on the table, to give the light to those who were still in the darkness of drugs. And that was, as I thought for that moment, something very important. I can’t remember anyone who had been an addict but wasn’t anymore and wanted to stay like that. Usually, even if an addict establishes abstinence he would just wait the opportunity to get back to old habits, to do what he thinks he should do which will get him something good and nice. I testify that an addict mostly thinks that he can’t stop being an addict ever. Through the period of addiction, after many relapses, unsuccessful attempts, one really starts to give up convinced that it is impossible to get out of it. That way you fan the flames of a looser inside yourself, reconcile with the situation and hope you will be in crisis for as short as possible till the day you will be gone from this world. You are convinced that nobody will feel sorry for you or most of all will say “So what, it was his choice. We can rest now”, and something like that. And these are only a few described feelings that keep you far from creating and giving that last chance to yourself that you can live.
And when you are in a such position, it is extremely important to have somebody who was in a situation you are now right opposite you, somebody who seems different to you, somebody who fought the same fight, somebody who defeated Goliath, somebody who just being alive testifies you that getting out from the world of addiction is completely possible option and at the end somebody who provoke you feel jealousy and thirst for such a life.
While living in Reto Centre in Belgrade, for more than two years, I spent some time on reception and evidence of new guys, those who would call and want to enter the programme during the week. Once a week we would meet them for 20 minutes telling them about rules and norms and letting them to decide whether to enter the stationary treatment or to stay at the point they were. What I noticed then was the fact that a guy was not always ready to hear what you have got to tell him because he might have crisis or he took too much or didn’t realize that you couldn’t devote more time to him at that moment… For these and many other unfavourable circumstances a person would very often bring a wrong decision to stay on the street.
Because of this, I think that experiential counselling is the most important thing which Preporod introduced in the field of addiction treatment in Montenegro at that moment. After a couple of media exposures dozens of addicts came to us from all over Montenegro that very year - 2006.
At that moment there were no conditions for long stationary free treatment in Montenegro, so the boys and girls from Preporod went to commune and therapeutic communities within the region and soon even further. Primarily it was Reto Center but later the list of communes and therapeutic communities became longer.
Because of these circumstances the decision to pay a special attention on the service for support addicts, which we named MOTIVATION FOR ACCEPTING LONG-TERM RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT, or any other treatment at all, has found as I am convinced the position which belonged to it. Until then and even a couple of years after the description of any kind of programme of support and treatment finished with “ONLY FOR THOSE WHO WANT”. But how many “those who want” are there, I suppose it is clear to everyone. Well, not much.
Enter something what neither to public nor to experts sounded important was rather brave. Addicts who were coming didn’t think about the name of the moment of communication with them. But one thing is clear. They often come without wish to change anything in their lives, running away from different problems, drug dealers, debts, police, family problems just in order to make one more attempt and tell their family “Here, did I go, did I try even this…and nothing…”. But they would get out with a decision, a good one, very often. The fact that this would become less important to girls and guys and even completely neglected in comparison with time spent in stationary treatment doesn’t make any problem for us. What is our share in reaching the goal is completely irrelevant. But I know that there is no one in Montenegro who is dealing this issue, as I think that everyone who is recognized as important in Montenegro sits here tonight, who hasn’t become conscious of the importance of motivation in the whole treatment process. Also I have noticed that this service is classified among their other services by the most of them. And we are glad because I am sure that a person the more prepared enters the treatment the more confronted with expectations will be and more motivated to endure the treatment and therefore probability for the positive final outcome rises significantly. By the way, we were in a position to represent our model of motivation for accepting the treatment on the World Federation Against Drugs’ Congress in Vienna, and it got good critics from the professional public.
As for me, from the moment when the first guy had returned from the stationary treatment, where he spent the suggested period of time, and have kept the values he gained by gaining personal freedom from addiction I knew that this story can’t be stopped.
You can be a pioneer in doing something, people can mistrust in your capacities, you can be antipathetic to them, but no one can overlook the results. And here results can be seen, can’t be hidden, because the result is a saved life. The one who was thought that can’t be saved by everyone spends some time in treatment and gets back as a new human being.
Only after that, which was the baseline for everything else, we started expanding the range of services which we use to help people who have got a problem.
We have lit the pioneer flame even for some other circumstances when speaking about treating problems connected with drugs misuse in Montenegro.
Beginning with initiating and advocacy for the equal treatment for women addicts, presentation of same possibilities, connection with institutions and organizations which deal the issue from different aspects, social re-inclusion and re-integration of rehabilitated addicts, and further introduction of the first free telephone line for helping addicts and their families, specific service for supporting alcohol addicts, to contribution in the field of primary prevention, education of adolescents their parents and teachers as well as rising of general public consciousness about this problematic.
With the support of the Foundation “Ćano Koprivica”, to which we are grateful even for being here in this hall tonight, we have announced reward Anti-Dop Ambassador which is material and has got two categories one for the individual or institution that contributes solving addiction problem and the other for a journalist or media for media contribution. We hope this year we will have enough applications to award the prize for the first time and that way encourage people to act within this field even harder and better.
Dear friends, we believe that we go towards complete and appropriate success consistently and firmly. After all, many hundreds, more than 1100 parents and other family members considered Preporod can be beginning of the end of their troubles. I can say with a special pleasure that dozens of guys and girls are fine today, for once they knocked on our door.
Further, speaking about primary prevention more than 4000 children were in a position to hear us on 150 stands during these ten years.
Anyhow, we wouldn’t be able to influence solving these problems as seriously as we have done if we weren’t supported by donors and other institutions which financially supported our work.
It is time to mention them and say “Thank you” once again: BCIF, Municipality Niksic, Montenegro Parliament, Montenegro Government through the competition for the allocation of revenue from games of chance, USAID ORT MAP, USA Embassy to MNE, State Department Office for Drugs and Crime, OSCE Mission to MNE, World’s Bank Office in MNE, different UN Departments to MNE, FAKT, Forum SYD, WFAD and at the end EU Delegation to Montenegro.
We owe a great gratitude to media that have followed our work to the extent we wanted. I believe we were good cooperates, because each media house got a personal confession from guys who once asked for our help. That kind of story is hard to get to, because it isn’t easy for people to talk about details from their lives that aren’t representative for them here in Montenegro.
Our acting in Montenegro contributed somehow that we have found ourselves to become co-operates, partners and members of some of the most important European and World’s networks that treat this problematic as it is EURAD within which operates RUN (we are one of its founders) and WFAD. All of us are determined in intention to put recovery as an option in addiction treatment on the place we are convinced it deserves.
My dear friends, as this gathering is a type of ceremony, we tried to show our range and results and it might seem to you we are telling that things are satisfactory. We don’t think so. We think they are better than they were ten years ago. Anyway there is a lot of space for development. Inter alia, we have made some efforts with the colleagues from the sector to start solving problems systematically. Some changes have already been made so I want to be an optimist and believe that those people who are in a position to make changes will recognize our willingness and intention to move things forward.
Somehow my name is always connected with Preporod’s successes. And OK, here am I dedicated as much as I know and can be. But without any exaggeration nothing would be like it is today if there weren’t guys with personal experience who gave a great contribution to growth of Preporod, many parents of rehabilitated guys and girls who have spent so many hours in communication with parents of guys and girls who are still addicts and supported them to endure, professionals and experts who (to my great loss) were active actors of Preporod’s growth but due to unstable financing of civil sector organizations that functions only through projects aren’t any more, and people who are part of Preporod now, as well as people from many national and international institutions who supported our work in many ways and give contribution to our success. During the previous year, our children from the Youth Club our Anti Dop Ambassadors gave a special flavor and charm to Preporod, even if it isn’t just a year, they are much longer in our plans and wishes.
I feel a great pleasure because Preporod goes further continuously helping people.
I confess that we have made some mistakes on our way, but we learned from those mistakes many things and every day we try to develop the structure of our support services for people who are in need.
It could be said a lot more, but it is enough for today.
I will just repeat that THERE IS A WAY OUT OF ADDICTION.
This year, for 26 June, the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Preporod celebrates nine years since it was formed. For its ninth birthday, in cooperation with the Ćano Koprivica Foundation, Preporod is advertising the:
OPEN CONTEST FOR THE 2015 ANTI DOP AMBASADOR 2015 AWARDS
ANTI DOP AMBASADOR 2015
for individuals, media, government institutions, associations and non-government organisations – which have in the most effective or notable way contributed to the fight against abuse of psychoactive substances.
The aim of the competition is to recognise, acknowledge and publicly encourage individuals, the media, institutions, associations and NGOs that give an example to others with their work and actions, and set standards which should be aimed for in fighting against abuse of psychoactive substances. At the same time, the aim is the reduction of stigmatisation and discrimination, as well the promotion of solidarity, acceptance of difference and taking responsibility. A no-less-important aim is to highlight the importance of this fight, bearing in mind that drug-abuse is a problem that touches everyone of us and is sometimes called the "21st century plague".
The ANTI DOP AMBASADOR awards are divided into two categories:
The deadline for entries is 26 November 2015.
The right to apply extends to individuals, government institutions, associations and non-government organisations from Montenegro, as well as media outlets which operate in Montenegro, whose sphere of operations includes the direct or indirect fight against abuse of psychoactive substances.
The following can apply for the category for individual contribution all individuals, business associations, government institutions and non-government organisations which operate on the territory of Montenegro and the region, and which have shown in their work understanding of the issue of addiction, and in line with this have acted to reduce the level of addiction or its damaging consequences, or have influenced awareness about the problem of abuse of psychoactive substances, or have influenced the reduction of stigmatisation and discrimination, and have bolstered respect of personality and its variety.
The following can apply for the category for media contribution all journalists and media houses that operate on the territory of Montenegro and who have shown understanding for the issue of addiction and in line with the domain of their profession have influenced the raising of awareness about the damaging consequences of drug abuse, and about the discriminating position and stigmatisation of drug addicts and their families.
Criteria taken into account:
For individual contribution:
For media contribution:
Nominations can be made by all interested individuals, media, institutions, associations and non-government organisations, with the possibility of self-nomination.
Entry forms can be found at this link for individual contribution, and at this link for media contribution, while for more information you can contact the office of the NGO, Preporod, via e-mail at email@example.com.
It is advisable to fill in the entire entry form and all supporting documentation should be attached with the application. The filled-in entry form should be sent by 26 November 2015 to the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call for youth for participation in Anti-Dop Camps
NGO Preporod, within the project ’’Anti-Dop Ambassadors Beyond Borders’’, is calling on young people (high-school students who have finished the first or second grade) to apply for participation in summer educative-entertaining camps which aim to create a network of peer educators, Anti-Dop Ambassadors from the cross-border region MNE-B&H, which will through the techniques of primary prevention raise the level of knowledge about the problem of psychoactive substance consumption as well as disseminate awareness about problems of addiction in their communities.
The main activities of the project are two week-long youth camps (the first one in Vucje, Montenegro from 26th July to 1st August, and the second one in Neum, Bosnia and Herzegovina from 16th to 22nd August), where 80 children will participate. On the camps, which are planned for the summer holidays, the children will be educated in more thematic fields, like primary prevention, leadership and communication skills, cultural exchange and creation of a cross-border network of peer educators. The camps are free for children, and education and training will be conducted by a qualified expert team from Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. After the camps, children will go back and disseminate their gained knowledge in their communities.
Forty children from Montenegro who have just finished the first or second grade at high school will have the right to participate, and they will come from nine targeted municipalities from the cross-border region (Niksic, Zabljak, Savnik, Pluzine, Pljevlja, Kolasin, Mojkovac, Berane, Bijelo Polje). The participants can apply for the camps on the web page: http://www.antidopambasadori.org/cg/. The deadline for applications is 20th June 2015. NB: One participant can only take part in one camp, and the participants and composition of the camps is drawn up by a mixed-selection committee.
The project ’’Anti-Dop Ambassadori Beyond Borders’’ is implemented by NGO Preporod from Niksic and Association PROI from Sarajevo, and is funded by the European Union from the Instruments for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) within the Programme of Cross-Border Cooperation Montenegro – Bosnia and Herzegovina. The project will last 20 months.
New project NGO Preporod “TRI BALKAN”
NGO Preporod in partnership with the World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD) and together with the NGO Proslavi Oporavak from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, NGO Izlazak from Belgrade and Restart from Novi Sad, Serbia, started the implementation of the project TRI BALKAN, a project to further develop cooperation between institutions, NGOs and other participants in dealing with addiction problems, in the Balkan region for a duration of 12 months. All four NGOs from the former Yugoslavia work with motivation and re-socialization of drug addicts and with prevention in the field of substance abuse.
The main idea is to map and identify strengths and weaknesses in the current cooperation between NGOs and institutions in the three countries, to develop the cooperation between them and strengthen the NGOs by advocacy training. Furthermore, the aim of the project is to create a starting point for a long-term cooperation by gathering information on the activities carried out by the state actors and civil society in the three-state region in the sphere of substance abuse, to develop a need assessment and a plan of action.
It is expected that the project will lay the ground for long-term development of intervention through needs assessment by different actors in this field. Developed and formalised cooperation between actors involved in fight against drug abuse in the three countries is expected to improve the participation and position of marginalised groups who abuse drugs, in the long term, as well as to improve their independence and equality in society.
The project is accessed and approved by Forum Syd. The NGO Preporod, having been a member of the World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD) for years, through establishing and widening cooperation between our organisations will bring better results in the field of drug prevention in our region.
Organisations which deal with the same issue can fill in the questionnaire which can be found at the link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Sq_5ShSTMzCcMu1gPrAHhn6Mb8DwooaHi36NvwDOQio/edit and send it back to us on the e-mail email@example.com, so that we can gather the information about those organisations, map them and establish better cooperation with them in order to achieve our mission.
Anti-Dop Ambassadors Beyond Borders
The press conference held on 21/04/2015 at the EU Info Centre in Podgorica was the first public activity making official the beginning of the "Anti-Dop Ambassadors Beyond Borders" project. The project is being implemented jointly by Preporod and the association PROI from Sarajevo, with the co-applicant "Public Institution for the Accommodation, Rehabiliation and Resocialisation of Users of Psychoactive Substances, Podgorica".
The overall goal of the project is the strengthening of the social cohesion of the population and institutions in the cross-border region through contributions to the fight against drug abuse. The specific goal of the project is the reduction of the risk of drug abuse among young people through awareness-raising activities and a multidisciplinary approach (synergy between the civil sector, public institutions and youth initiatives).
The basic idea of the project is to create a network of peer educators, Anti-Dop Ambassadors from the Montenegro-Bosnia and Herzegovina cross-border region, which through primary prevention in their communities will raise awareness about the problem of consuming psychoactive substances. Thus we are waging the fight against drug abuse by means of the mechanisms of peer education and primary prevention.
The main activity of the project are two week-long youth camps (the first in Montenegro, the second in Bosnia & Herzegovina), where 80 children will take part who will be educated about many subjects, such as primary prevention of drug abuse, leadership and communication skills, culture exchange and setting up a trans-border network of peer educators. The camps are free of charge for children, and applications can be sent via the web site www.antidopambasadori.org and the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/antidopambasadori?fref=ts.
It is important to mention that for the first time the "Unplugged" educational programme of primary prevention, which is already yielding notable results all over Europe, will be implemented in Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Thus trained, the Anti-Dop Ambassadors will return to their own surroundings and will share their knowledge with their peers.
Also we would like raise awareness among parents of adolescents about the role of the institution of the family in the prevention of addiction.
At least 200 parents of adolescents from the cross-border region through 40 workshops will increase their level of knowledge about drug abuse and its consequences, as well as their awareness about the significance of the role of parents and other members of the family in the prevention of addiction.
The longstanding cross-border partnership between NGOs and institutions which function in this area will be strengthened through the organisation of multi-sectoral meetings which will be attended by the representatives of relevant actors from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. During the meeting the actors will make contacts in the field of education and the areas of drug prevention and will analyse the cross-border potential in this area. The second goal of this meeting will be the creation of a Memorandum of Cross-Border Cooperation which will be signed at the end of this project.
The next expected result is the widening of social awareness about the problem of drugs through successful promotion of the project in the media. The result will be achieved through several activities focused mainly on the local and regional media, internet campaigns, including a website and announcements and information via social media.
The cities which will be reached by the project in Montenegro are Nikšić, Plužine, Šavnik, Pljevlja, Žabljak, Mojkovac, Kolašin, Bijelo Polje and Berane, while in Bosnia and Herzegovina they are Trebinje, Bileća, Gacko, Kalinovik, Rogatica, Stolac, Goražde, Sarajevo and Mostar.
The "Anti-Dop Ambassadors Beyond Borders" project is financed by the European Union through the Instrument of Preaccession Assistance (IPA 2007-2013) within the programme of Montenegro-Bosnia and Herzegovina cross-border cooperation to a sum of €198,962.
And finally, we must express our satisfaction that the EU has recognised the significance of this fact and is helping make things better in relation to the issue of drug abuse. It is very important to talk from this level about this pestilence which is for good reason called the 21st century plague.
CHRISTIAN GATHERINGS The 9th conference of former addicts will take place this year in Sarajevo from 27-29 March 2015 in Hotel Hollywood, as per tradition.
The idea for “Christian Gatherings” came from several former addicts who wanted to meet up again with those with whom, during rehabilitation, they lived in therapeutic communities. It all started in March 2006 when this “little” idea, as it seemed then, gathered a large number of people. Then it became clear that the idea of organising these meetings could grow into something much bigger. Given that this was a Christian conference, the people who gathered together at this event were mainly those who had come to know and live in God's love and mercy from the entire region. At the first of these gatherings, about 40 people gathered and that first year was very special. Since then, these meetings have happened every year, and the number of attendees has grown year after year. The sixth conference was the largest, with 170 people coming to share their experiences, to be encouraged towards further progress and to network. Through such gatherings many individuals have felt encouragement to work with addicts in their local communities, which makes a significant contribution to the global fight against addiction. The aim of all of this is to encourage individuals through such gatherings to persevere and keep a healthy way of live amid all the life problems they encounter.
For all details about the conference for interested individuals and organisations from Montenegro, you can contact Preporod on +382 67 423 995 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NGO “Preporod” , on the occasion of 26 June, its own 8th anniversary and the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
At Preporod today, after 8 years of supporting and helping addicts and their families, we are satisfied with what we have achieved and see many of our aims realised. We see revived the lives of many young people who have turned to us, and entire families revived. Over this time, addicts from all over Montenegro have turned to Preporod for help. Ever since it was established, the number of people turning to Preporod for help has been constantly growing which, on one hand is gratifying, given that we are in a position to help a larger number of addicts, but on the other hand it points to a problem which is a worldwide trend, and that is that the scale of the problem of drugs is constantly growing, especially among young people.
These days we have the opportunity to also concentrate on the accomplishments of the last few years. From June 2013 to June 2014 Preporod has been an address where help, support and advice have been sought by 118 individuals, whether addicts or members of their families. We are noticing that the services most used during this period by our clients are motivational interviews for acceptance of long-term residential treatment (33.8%), free telephone line (16.1%), as well as counselling for parents of active addicts (15.3%). The percentage of males making use of our services (66.1%) is higher than for women (33.9%). It is also gratifying that, after the process of motivation, we have directed more than half (52%) of those used our motivational interview services to long-term residential treatment in communes all over Europe. Also, 3.4% of the total number contacted Preporod in order to use our counselling service for addicts who have the blood-transmitted infections HCV/HIV, 6.4% for the possibility of psychotherapy, and 4.2% for help for resocialisation. We are of the opinion that, with our earlier introduction of the first free SOS telephone line in Montenegro for addicts and their families, we have significantly increased the possibility of them contacting our organisation, and thereby, increasing the accessibility of the services that we offer, which is testified to by the fact that the line was called almost 90 times during the mentioned time period.
Cooperation with rehabilitation centres and communes in the country, the wider region and even further afield is still operating at a high level. Thanks to the projects we have realised in the last year, we have widened our cooperation even to state institutions. We believe that this approach does much to broaden awareness about the seriousness of this problem, and also to create the possibility to act together and more holistically. We believe that our organisation has been able to act in the best possible way in each individual case, or at least the best way that we have known. We will continue to search for the best solutions and method so as to best effect a reduction in the total number of addicts, and to bring our influence to bear on our society becoming a healthier place. Membership of European and worldwide umbrella institutes and partnerships with organisations from all continents are making our mission much easier.
Finally, we consider that it is important for us to be conscientious and aware, and to that end, every one of us should act, without prejudice, with clear understanding that our approach is never neutral, but that our inactivity can lead to a prolonging of a state that should not be like that. We should be aware that the problem of an individual, for example a single drug addict, is a problem for the whole family, and eventually the whole of society. The problem of addiction has become an obvious problem that we should turn our attention to. For those affected by this illness, help and attention are necessary, not only today while everyone is talking about it, but rather every day.
Thank you to all who have in any way helped our fight prevail and helped Preporod to be in the position it is.
Open letter on the occasion of neglect of addicts and their families by the Council for the Prevention of Discrimination.
Dear Minister Numanović and Councillor Kojičić,
I am contacting you in the name of the NGO Preporod, and it is basic manners at the outset to present ourselves to you. We have existed for nearly eight years, and we are the initiators of extra-institutional treatment of addiction in Montenegro. We have particularly developed services of support for addicts and their families. Using some of these services, many scores of men and women from all over Montenegro are now in stable abstinence. Because of our activities, we are on the list of partners and co-workers of umbrella world institutions which treat the problem of addiction. [ read more ]