Erfurt gets model center for addiction prevention

A new model center for addiction prevention is to be built in Erfurt. As the German Press Agency reported on Tuesday, the state capital of Thuringia will become the first nationwide location for a new concept for the theming of gambling, alcohol or drug addiction.

The Addiction Aid operates several facilities in Thuringia. (Image: sit-online.org)

According to the initiators of Addiction Aid in Thuringia (SiT), the center should be characterized by a new approach. The focus is on education. In this way, visitors to the center should develop a self-assessment of the risk of addiction rather than just being taught.

According to Katrin Schnell, head of a prevention center at SiT, this happens through the realistic depiction of everyday situations that are associated with various addictions. Scenes from school and apprenticeships, the world of work or even old people's homes, which illustrate the addiction problem in these areas in a practical way, are reproduced in various rooms of the facility.

Schnell explained to the dpa:

It is an innovative federal model project. We want to de-stigmatize, we don't want to show that an addict is necessarily a bad person.

The aim is to convey the existing knowledge about addictions and self-reflection and to provide information about the SiT advisory services.

The federal government is contributing 15 million euros

According to the report, the pilot project will be funded by the Federal Ministry of Health with 15 million euros. In addition, the state of Thuringia will contribute several hundred thousand euros a year for ongoing operations, according to politicians from the SPD, which is co-ruling in the state parliament.

According to the Thuringian SPD member of the Bundestag, Carsten Schneider, the decision to go to Erfurt was made due to the city's central location. It is ideal to be reached by train, which makes it easier for those affected and interested from all over Germany to visit the facility.

In order to advance the planning for the ambitious “World of Temptations” project, addiction support received 100,000 euros from the donors. After an already completed sample plan has been drawn up, a suitable location is now being sought. It has not yet been decided whether a new building will be built or existing facilities will be used.

According to SiT managing director David Fritzlar, it is hoped that a decision will be reached when choosing a location in the coming year. The center itself should then be opened by 2026 to receive the first visitors. Erfurt could thus become a beacon in German addiction prevention.

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