The Church's Rehabilitation Program

Jarrett Zigon

in “HIV Is God's Blessing”

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780520267626
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948327 | DOI:
The Church's Rehabilitation Program

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This chapter focuses on the Russian Orthodox Church's program on drug rehabilitation and HIV prevention and treatment. The Church's institutional perspective espouses that overcoming the sinful life of drug use does not necessarily come about by following institutional Church rituals (the fast), but instead by a constant working on the self, much of which is internal work (praying and thinking), but also social (speaking and acting), that will eventually bring one closer to God. The center is located outside the city because it is important to get the addicts away from such an environment, suggesting the recognition of the social nature of drug addiction and highlighting one of the Church's main tenets in their fight: that it is a moral problem of both the individual and society. In order to change one's morality one must change one's social context. Surveillance is vital for maintaining a well-run and disciplined community that will allow for the best chance of success for the rehabilitants. So too is the kind of self-surveillance and discipline the staff attempt to inculcate within the rehabilitants.

Keywords: drug rehabilitation; HIV prevention; moral problem; drug addiction; surveillance

Chapter.  9441 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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