The city of Palermo has launched a one million euro project called “Fuori dal giro” (Out of the Circle) to combat drug addiction and substance abuse. An mobile unit staffed by professionals from the local health service and third-sector operators has been set up in Ballarò square to provide accessible support for young people. The targeted neighborhoods for the project are Ballarò-Albergheria, Sperone, Borgo Vecchio, and Zen. Additionally, the city has allocated funds from the new Pon Metro 2021-2027 program to establish low-threshold centers for those with addiction problems. These centers will offer assistance from trained professionals and essential services such as food, lodging, guidance, and motivational interviews. The project aims to create proximity services throughout the city to help those struggling with addiction and their families. The city is working closely with other institutional and healthcare entities, law enforcement, and third-sector organizations. The mobile unit in Ballarò has been operational since September 8th and has already carried out an average of 13 interventions per outing, with at least 5 involving females. The unit operates from Monday to Saturday, 16:00 to 22:00, and focuses on harm reduction measures based on scientific guidelines. In the first month, an average of 70 sanitary supplies, 65 contraceptives, and 167 items such as saline supplements, water, chewing gum, and lip balm were distributed per shift. Alongside these interventions, information and awareness campaigns regarding risky behaviors have been conducted, and formal contact has been made with Palermo’s Civico Hospital for screening services for young people accessing the mobile unit. The educational street activities began simultaneously with the mobile unit in the Ballarò neighborhood and later in mid-September in other areas with the opening of corresponding proximity centers. These centers follow a step-by-step approach involving mapping, engagement, relationship building, and project development, tailored to each neighborhood’s specific characteristics. The proximity centers have all been operational since mid-September and have collaborated with various local services. In Ballarò, the centers located in Vicolo Infermeria dei Cappuccini and Via Vesalio provide a listening space for consumers and parents throughout the week. In particular, specific afternoon sessions have been scheduled to provide support groups for parents of young people.
A Palermo il camper anti-dipendenze, una media di 13 soccorsi al giorno