We have taken account of and analysed the information on all the men and women who, over the years, have entered the program, studied with us and successfully finished the program. The aim of the analysis was to raise awareness of the work done, to take a thorough look at the results, to learn from experience, and to make changes, if necessary.
The program is carried out in two languages: we communicate all information, instructions, etc in both Estonian and Russian at all times. The analysis showed that the number of Estonian and Russian addicts we have admitted is virtually equal. Considering the whole period, the number of Estonians has been bigger by a few decimal fractions, but looking at the very recent years, there have been more Russian than Estonian participants.
In terms of regions the addicts come from, more than a half report Tallinn or Harju County as their previous place of residence, which is quite in line with the fact that almost half of the Estonian population live in this area. But we have people from practically all Estonian regions: Pärnu, East Estonia, South Estonia, the central part, the islands, etc. At the same time we do know that a lot of those who enter our program have broken their family ties and have no permanent place to live. As they have been unable to keep a steady job or have even not worked a day in their lives, they do not usually have a living place of their own.
We have come to the conclusion that the man’s and woman´s age plays no role in making a change in his life – it is neither a hindrance or a key to success. A man and woman can be of any age and, supported by us, they can turn over a new leaf if they only wishes it from all their heart. Over the years we have studied, the youngest one to join the program has been 19 and the oldest – 69 years old.
We did know it even before the study, but now we have hard facts that for an addict the first month is the most difficult period during the whole program. It is the first month that as many as 45% of participants leave the program. There are basically two reasons for that: the person has to give up his/her addiction and at the same time take up a new and very strict way of life from day one: wake-up at 6, breakfast, quiet time, classes, work, lunch, work, dinner, chores and practically the same routine every single day. For the majority of new members this kind of life full of activities and duties is something they could not expect and they find it very hard. In order to facilitate our new participants’ integration in the program during their first month, we have decided to implement an induction course which includes special classes and even more individual and personal counselling.
What is the most rewarding part of our work is that as many as 69% of the graduates are leading sound and decent lives. They have jobs, their relationships with their families and significant others are on the mend and so on. We wish those men and women a lot of strength in keeping on track!
Over the years, more than 6% of the graduates have stayed with us to do our follow-up or Servant Leadership Program. Doing the program the men and women set good role models for the men and women doing the basic program and give a substantial help to the village staff with running work practice and organizing teaching activities. At the same time they also start their independent work in society including educational work in needle exchange points, volunteer work with the homeless and personal communication with and councelling people with chemical addictions.