Anonymous drug treatment in demand

Twice the number of people attended anonymous drug counseling as expected after requirement that users be registered before being given treatment was waived

The success of anonymous drug treatment was revealed a year into an experimental program in which twice the number of people sought help than was anticipated.

Ordinarily, individuals seeking treatment for drug problems in Denmark have to register — unlike treatment programs for alcoholism, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, in which individuals only have to reveal their first name.

The success and popularity of anonymous treatment demonstrates the enormous demand for treating emerging drug problems, Dortea Nielsen from Project Anonym Stofmisbrugsbehandling (Anonymous Drug Treatment Project), told Politiken newspaper.

“It shows that there are many ordinary people out there who need help,” Nielsen said. “They have jobs and maybe even families and donÂ’t see themselves entering the ordinary treatment system. Anonymity is vital for them. I think weÂ’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg in Copenhagen.”

Since the treatment centers were established in January 2011, 134 people in Copenhagen and 71 in Odense have signed up for the treatment, which consists of weekly therapy groups for the first four months, then fortnightly for the following six months.

According to the users, the treatment works. Ninety-six percent said they had managed to quit or cut down their drug use following the treatment, while 90 percent said they are better off economically after the treatment.

But at the end of this year the project is set to end, meaning Danes seeking treatment will have to register again. Nielsen thinks parliament should legalise anonymous drug treatment, a position which CopenhagenÂ’s minister of social affairs, Mikkel Warming, agrees with.

“It’s paradoxical that we cannot offer anonymity because it is the best way to help people while they are still in work before it escalates,” Warming told Politiken.

Addiction expert Henrik Rindom also argued that many people would only seek treatment if it was anonymous.

“There is a large group of citizens who are drug abusers but whose social status means that they would never seek treatment at the same location as people receiving methodone,” he said. “Anonymity is vital for making the first contact.”





  • How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    Being part of a trade union is a long-established norm for Danes. But many internationals do not join unions – instead enduring workers’ rights violations. Find out how joining a union could benefit you, and how to go about it.

  • Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals are overrepresented in the lowest-paid fields of agriculture, transport, cleaning, hotels and restaurants, and construction – industries that classically lack collective agreements. A new analysis from the Workers’ Union’s Business Council suggests that internationals rarely join trade unions – but if they did, it would generate better industry standards.

  • Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    The numbers are especially striking amongst the 3,477 business and economics students polled, of whom 31 percent elected Novo Nordisk as their favorite, compared with 20 percent last year.