Csaba Mihaldinecz

Ashoka Fellow
Hungary,
Fellow Since 1999

Citation

This profile was prepared when Csaba Mihaldinecz was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1999.
The New Idea
To combat the inhumane treatment of people with dependencies and to raise public (and government) awareness, Csaba has introduced a new type of care in the rehabilitation of alcoholics and drug users. He focuses on long-term care designed to reintegrate patients into a productive, community existence, which is the precise opposite of the prevailing detoxification procedures.

Csaba's original forms of therapy involve parents and families in the process as supports to addicted clients, use theater and preventional performances in schools, employ former addicts to lead therapy sessions, and place rehabilitated clients in jobs. According the clients Csaba serves, the program works because addicts become involved in a community in which they can regain trust and confidence in themselves, and this is unique in Hungary.

Csaba's treatment has proven much more effective than state-run institutional treatment programs, with a success rate some fifty times higher. As a result of his lobbying (and of his program's unequivocal success), the government has agreed to cover his clients' costs, and has begun referring clients to his center.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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