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The therapeutic community for recuperation from addiction to alcohol and other drugs in Brasil: in line with or running counter to psychiatric reform?

In the second half of the last century a revolutionary movement began in the world mental health scenario, namely Psychiatric Reform. At the same juncture, the concept was also put forward for Therapeutic Communities, which would later become the tried and tested model for treatment of addiction to alcohol and other drugs. However, due to the alarming increase of this problem in Brazil, as well as the absence of public policies to address the problem, there was an indiscriminate proliferation of chemical dependency internment locations that, despite calling themselves Therapeutic Communities, in no way resembled the initial model proposed. These places featured inhuman and iatrogenic practices, very similar to those criticized by the Psychiatric Reform movement, which consequently discredited the Therapeutic Community model. This article seeks to demonstrate, through bibliographic research, how the conceptual and methodological bases of Psychiatric Reform closely resemble the Therapeutic Communities movement, having appeared at the same time and for the same reason, and how the lack of control and regulation of chemical dependency internment locations in Brazil has contributed to the current disrepute of this model.

Therapeutic Community; addiction to alcohol and other drugs; Psychiatric Reform

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