“Your a drug there is!” – as centers for the dependent to prove that they help

In Russia, with the support of the Foundation of St. John of Kronstadt there are about 70 rehabilitation centres for drug addicts. Three of them – “house of healing” in the Leningrad region. When the centers were built, the locals have a real rebellion. Accused women rehabilitants theft lathes, not even allowed in the store because I was afraid of Contracting hepatitis. And now recently, ennobled by the inhabitants, – the ornament and pride of towns, and the works of their superiors helped dozens of people get rid of addiction and return to a normal life.

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Recently called grandmother. Crying: “the Son of an alcoholic, help.” Ask her how many son years. Answers: 60. We accept rehabilitation as a rule, from 18 to 45, the average age of our beneficiaries is 30 years, but here are unable to refuse the grandmother, try to help, – says Alexey Lazarev, head of addiction of the Synodal Department for charity of the Russian Orthodox Church, as we drive to the first of the three centers, “the Abode of healing.”

The experience of many years, Alex knows that almost no one comes for help himself, almost no one bring wives or husbands. Cry and beg for their children, usually the mother.

Cyril “sapper” in just two weeks, sitting in a room with four beds, a table Laden with icons, and writing something in a large notebook. Ask for help in the “house of healing” persuaded his mother. Cyril about 30 years, 10 of them, with the students, he uses drugs. Because of addiction he lost his job, lost his wife, made a lot of bad about not telling, and decided that I needed to change. After a course of detoxification Cyril two months went to the day hospital Sunday at the Warsaw station in St. Petersburg, where, together with experts – the priests, the psychologists, the former dependent was motivated and prepared. Father Sergius Belkov says that at this stage they “lose a lot of people,” in the sense that not everyone has the courage to go to the rehabilitation center.


– Would lose less if we had a halfway house. The guys who come from other cities, it is easier, they change habitat. A St. Petersburg after class in the hospital back in their apartments, to their company – explains the priest.

Five years ago few – only 3 with small thousand people – village Demining in the lake district of the Leningrad region was a closed military town of the Russian army inherited from the Soviet, and before that Finnish village of Valkjarvi, or Vesta, Valkjarvi, which translates as “Russian white lake”.

To get to the village from Saint Petersburg, you need to go as long as high-rises does not change fields, field – pines and yet on the left hand, in those places where trees grow less, does not seem to gray-blue leaf large and small lakes. Here, on the arrival of the Konevskaya Mother of God icon, in 1996 the rector of the Church father Sergius Belkov has opened the first in Leningrad Church rehabilitation center for drug addicts.


In “sapper” quiet. I can hear the wind entangled in the tops of the pine trees. Just finished the funeral, friends and relatives of the deceased, who with carnations who with roses, stood in the temple courtyard, shifting from foot to foot, and left.

Rehabilitants or brothers, as they call, also. They are just 15 people went to a nearby centre Sretenskiy to rehearse a play. The house remained only Cyril. He is now in the first stage of rehabilitation, which in the Orthodox centers called “recover”. Cyril and the other brothers realize who they are, why they live that is really important for them.

“Sretensky” the people show “the Fly-Tsokotukha”

The next stage is “come to God”, faith and strengthen it. All this usually takes a year and a half.

Then begins the last stage of rehabilitation – the return to the people. To come up with this “halfway house” – halfway houses, where people live in groups or independently, but under the supervision of experts. Cyril to this house to go far away.

– Sometimes spectacularly. Not physically, but the thoughts in my head appear all sorts: why am I here? Have to get home and get a job. But when you’re constantly busy working, such thoughts evaporate. Now all is well, – he says.

In “sapper” carpentry and metalwork shops, a sawmill, a vegetable garden and a big farm. Cows, goats, pigs, chickens, ducks will not get bored. The rehabilitants themselves make butter, cheese, cottage cheese – for himself and for sale, themselves harvested for wildlife food for winter. Carving wood, carving frames for icons. There are even those who writes icons. Many of them are here for the first time taking in hands a shovel or axe, hammer the first nail. Along with the rector father Sergius, the brethren read the gospel, go to service. Destroying everything he had, learning how to build, work and live according to the commandments of God.

It cut them

Rehabilitation centers, “the Abode of healing” is free and voluntary. Instead of barbed-wire fences here a low palisade. Anyone who wants to, can’t even jump it, just unlock the gate.

But as the experience of 20 years, leaving only 20% of people. The remaining 80% returned to normal life without drugs, many remain as volunteers and employees.

Orthodox centers of addicted actually work better if secular webcentral recover only 1.5-3% drug, alcohol addicts and gamers, then after the Church – an average of 50%.

Bishop Kamensky and Alapaevsk Methodius – in the 90s he started the Church of the addicts in Russia – says that the Church in principle has extensive experience of working with people in crisis situations.

– When a person is ill, he comes for help to God, comes to the Church. What is addiction? It is a disease. He needs help to change lifestyle, worldview and value system. In the language of our theology, this is called repentance. In this respect, the Church is the most successful of all the other assistance systems, because the system of repentance, repair Outlook and mind in the Church of the most developed – explains the Bishop.

Bishop Kamensky and Alapaevsk Methodius

Come to God

15 kilometers from the village of Sapper built “Candlemas”, the second rehabilitation center for men, “the Abode of healing.” Soon here will be able to receive up to 70 people, and while the two-storey wooden house, painted in red, together with the rector, father Basilisk, live 15 rehabilitants. Candlemas brothers also work on the farm, which had built, working in the garden and in the apiary. Thanks they bought equipment for dairies, prepared the room. Left to equip it, and you can cook Parmesan, ricotta, mozzarella.


Dmitry Vtorushin so it seems – the future cheesemaker. In order to master the Italian technology of making cheese, Dmitry went to study in Moscow – this was obedience. A few years ago, a man with a “thug” past, would embarrass that others tell him what to do and how, but now “not smell,andtsya” familiar and understandable.

– If the rehabilitation center will live the old settings and use the loopholes that were used to search for drug, never change their lives, – says Dmitry.

A year ago he wrote a petition to remain a member of the “Abode of healing.” The routine order, the appeal was considered and approved at the brethren Council, which, by the way, are not part of Church superiors. Now Dmitry rents an apartment near the rehabilitation center, is studying in St. Petersburg to the logistician, it has a large “family in Christ”, it works, conducts an active way of life, communion, trying to be helpful, which makes me very happy, and he doesn’t believe that three years ago was different.

– I am 30 years old, I was leading an antisocial lifestyle. At the age of 14 on my way got these concepts, street rules, I about broke my teeth. I am from the Tyumen region, we have a different mentality. The majority of youth lives on the street. I found myself in this environment and was burning it. Lived with iniquity, went to jail, lived prison terms. Then into my life came the drugs. So: will free start to drink, then we need to get money for drugs, steal – again it’s down. Lasted so long, but deep down I knew there was another purpose in life.

Dmitry Vtorushin

Serving his last term, Dmitry realized that collapsed on the bottom, the whole body felt his cold rough concrete. He had to go from one closed environment to another, not to try a familiar taste of freedom so badly, to mix with the taste and smell of drugs. Six months together with my mother they were looking for a center, not necessarily Orthodox, where would be the normal conditions for rehabilitation and socialization.

Every night before going to bed, he was covered with a blanket with his head so none of the inmates have not seen, and his words asked: “Lord, I want to change! Well, help me, do, so it was not like it was”.

One of these days Vtorushin, as usual, stood in the Smoking room. The TV was showing the news, just a story about the centers for “Abode of healing” – God heard his inept prayer, not otherwise. Dmitry came up with the idea of going back to rehab, only she lived these last months in prison. Came out and the next day flew from Tyumen to St. Petersburg, now standing here, another, happy, talks about how to cook the ricotta.

– I realized that to stop using drugs is pyatistennoye. The most important thing is to understand God. When I believe in God, I don’t want any drugs or drink, or live ungodly. I liked to live right. Why did I stay here? Look, there are a few people gathered, and a big problem. I God help, it means that I have to help people with such trouble.


Get back to people

If you cross the river Fun, which begins at the Komsomol lake and ends by the river Vuoksi, from “Engineer” go to the rehabilitation center for women with a severe name “Peat” by the name of the village where it is located.

When in 2007 the centre started to build, local people raised a riot. There was a rumor that on 20 acres allotted to the women, organize the pigsty for 100 heads that it would be physically impossible. People protested, threw rocks, threatened with rape and arson. Don’t let rehabilitants even in the store, afraid that one of the next day infected with hepatitis or pick up HIV. Father Sergius Belkov brothers had to be on duty in “Peat”, or to go to help on the first call, simultaneously calling the police.

– Two or three women well, what they threaten? Missing man lathe, it is said that these women stole. Them that turning that bench, they do not understand anything. Yes, and they would not take up it – says father Sergius. – Then the local began to watch our girls.

They saw that the girls work from morning to evening, I saw how transformed the area. One day someone came: “Your an addict there is!” – since who is the cabbage, the beets, who will bring.

So slowly their hearts are thawed.

Rehabilitation centre for up to 18 people, but now live here five rehabilitants, two girls-volunteers and the abbess, the mother of Nicholas. In “Peat” she’s 12 years since its Foundation. In the office father Sergius is a notebook where they write down the names of everyone who passed through here rehabilitation, but the total number the mother of Nicholas won’t remember. And why is it important if each soul saved. On people she looks like a restorer on the icon. First, do no harm. You can take a broken man from the beginning, and can by example, as does the mother, to show what happens in life, so that man could choose whether he wants one way or another.

– I work with them at all obedience, in all the prayers with them involved, ready to confession and quietly started to talk to them. Why are they in this trouble fallen? Because they didn’t know Christ and they did not have communication with parents, all without exception. They didn’t trust anyone. When you’re just in love start to talk to them, they get used, thaw and trust, – explains mother.

Was for those 12 years and those who it does not work. Especially the mother of Nicholas remember one poor woman. In the center of rehabilitants take up to 40 years, and in that year had turned 42. Asked for help by her old mother, suffering from cancer, cried, begged to take the daughter, said that she does not realize how much she needs help. The most dependent were 18-year-old daughter, abandoned and also disadvantaged.

In “Peat”

The mother of Nicholas asked her to stay for my daughter, for older mothers, but to no avail: “I don’t want to leave the drugs, I like it, I like to be drunk”. Persuasion of mother and father Sergius woman stayed in “Peat” a few months, then went home, sold her laptop to get drugs, and died of a drug overdose.

– I am very sorry for this lady and feel sorry for this woman, but she didn’t. She did not want. And we have grilles no, we are not a prison – the mother of Nicholas hand encircles the area Torfyanoe, spacious, al from the approaching sunset.

M. Nicholas

The 23-year-old Sasha, too, was not understanding what a family is. The first time she tried drugs a schoolgirl, and in 20 years came here. That was the beginning of advent. Aunt, sister father put a condition: or a 12-step program in his hometown of Krasnoyarsk, but then immediately put on the account, or come to Moscow, then to Petersburg and do as you say.

Sasha’s clear gray-blue eyes of a man who seemed in a life, bad. She says that the prayer of the face and the soul lighter. Even Tamara, teachers dopobrazovaniya, mom of four girls and a junkie with 10 years of experience, although she was here only two weeks, face, eyes, smile became different, clean. Sasha does not like to recall, as did drugs, and love in advent, when the streets were dark and cold, to go to the temple to pray, reciting the text from memory, while the Canon, like the stars in the sky, burning down the candle.


– How can we say that? Drugs are not the main dependence. Here it is understood that there are many more all – jealousy, anger, and their anger, from sexual immorality flee to drugs. I think I was not Lada, dispensation, so I walked, got into bad company, is guilty smile, says Alex. And here I realized what a real family: the mother of Nicholas to us as a mother and as a dad – father Sergius.

In “Peat” Alexander the fourth year. After rehabilitation she lived from one lent to another, told myself that it was time, but never left. Sasha is not afraid to return to the world knows that will never break, but here, with the sisters so well and the mother of Nicholas is doing so much for them that I want to return good, to serve.

However, now it really is time to leave. In late autumn, God willing, Sasha will move to St. Petersburg. To take her mother promised that she hadn’t seen since I left Krasnoyarsk. Sasha learns to be a vet, someday create a real family and on major religious holidays will be sure to come to “the Peat” to the new sisters.

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