József Rácz

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 1995
Blue Point Drug Counseling and Outpatient Center


This profile was prepared when József Rácz was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1995.
The New Idea
József Rácz has initiated a system to acknowledge and treat the growing problem of drug addiction among the Hungarian urban underclass. His model forms a bridge of trust with addicts and enfolds their addiction within a set of community services that includes peer counseling from graduates of the program.

József's model relies on voluntary participation and does not require abstinence in order to enter the program. In these ways and in its community base, it contrasts with the highly institutionalized and punitive character of established drug treatment in Hungary. It is the first in the country to incorporate former drug users into the treatment process. This promises to lower the rate of re-addiction, which has been an intractable problem in the old system. József is helping to construct a health care system in his country that is designed to engage with the realities of its users' needs.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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