The unit of road

Foreman: Franco Gambacurta

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The Outreach service of Villa Maraini is called “Unità di Strada” -Street Unit. It is the service of the Foundation that is present on the streets. It is stationed  at strategic points  in Rome where addicts choose to get high, thereby saving the life of many from the risk of overdose, mainly related to the use of heroin and cocaine.
 
Its duty is to create a contact with hard- to- reach drug users who have high risk behaviour, and to bridge the gap with a wide range of services. The Street Unit started its activity at Termini, the central railway station of Rome, in March 1992, and later, in October 1998, established another reference point on the outskirts of Rome
 
Tor Bella Monaca - with a well-equipped mobile unit (camper) and since then has never interrupted its daily presence.
 
Our campers, the fruits of donations, are equipped with mobile phones and are part of the municipal emergency system and the Villa Maraini emergency service.
 
The basic team consists of a doctor, a psychologist, two social workers (ex-drug users) and two Italian Red Cross volunteers.
 
The campers are present from 6 pm to 12 pm at the Termini railway station site and from 10 am to 8 pm at the Tor Bella Monaca, providing:
  • syringe and needle exchange and distilled water so as to eliminate dangerous vehicles of infection from the streets;
  • life-saving interventions in case of overdose;
  • prevention of overdose through naloxone distribution and information;
  • distribution of condoms;
  • on-site support talks;
  • professional counselling to users from every part of the world even through targeted leaflets referrals to public health centres and drop-in centres;
  • first aid interventions;
  • a cup of hot tea;
  • accommodation solutions for those who do not have permanent place to stay.

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