Kék Pont was founded in 1996, at present it operates as a public benefit company. At the time of establishing our organization, we thought that Hungary lacked institutions which would provide comprehensive and coordinated healthcare, social and legal services for psychoactive substance users. Drug users cannot be seen as mere medical cases, as they may have a variety of problems.
We also believed that it was not “looking after” what clients needed but help to recover and improve their quality of life. Back in 1996 we held what we do today: that even if a substance user does not want to give up using drugs, he or she still needs attention and the harms arising from drug use must be reduced.
When designing and developing our activities, we pay special attention to the fact that drug users are still an extremely stigmatized group in society. Our goal is to provide complex protection of their interests and, in the long term, to promote a change in the attitudes in society. An important element of our professional approach to addictions is that we do not differentiate between users of legalized drugs and illicit ones. It is an important task of Kék Pont to treat massive addiction problems which are, though rampant in Hungary, far too often taken too lightly. These problems include alcohol and nicotine addiction, as well as behavior addictions, such as workaholism, gambling addiction, eating disorders etc., which have only recently become known for the public.
In order to realize these goals, we tried to find a suitable organizational form to fulfill our tasks, thus we established Kék Pont Alapítvány (Blue Point Foundation), which is a non-profit and non-governmental organization (NGO).
In the future of our dreams people face the challenges of addictions with a high degree of self-awareness and openness and they possess the virtue of temperance. The goal of Kék Pont is to help organize an inclusive and productive society through focusing on the social phenomenon of problematic substance use. Our strategic goals are:
- Adopting, distributing and including the model of recovery in everyday work. Sub goals: integrating the model of recovery into the daily work of ambulatory clinics, involving people in recovery and recovering communities, involving other stakeholders, dissemination, starting social discourse and reducing stigmatization.
- Supporting prevention within vulnerable groups, especially with the help of projects and corporate cooperation.
- Temperance and harm reduction. Sub goals: reaching out to vulnerable groups, involvement, awareness raising with the help of residential campaigns and corporate cooperation.
- Organizational goals: strengthening operational formalization in the organization, strengthening the use of online platforms, brand building, compiling list of “products” (education, services) for corporate cooperation.
Competencies of the organization
The foundation operates two ambulatory clinics in Budapest in the 9th and 3rd district. It is a characteristics of both of our institutions that instead of traditional medical treatment, clients are treated by a multi-disciplinary team. In order to promote recovery we primarily use substance use treatment consultations as a special supportive process. The goal of the treatment team is to provide support to those struggling with problems related to substance use and also their relatives in solving and conquering their problems, achieving their goals, improving their quality of life and enabling them to live a full life in their communities. Providing support is done within the framework of the model of recovery, in a complex manner through the combined and coordinated work of various support professions. A further goal of the treatment team is to adapt and distribute foreign best practices in the field of support in Hungarian substance use treatment, and raising awareness among the whole of society. Our activities are:
- Outreach work: reaching substance users through institutional connections, finding professionals who can recommend clients to our services; online outreach: using social media and online forums to find and identify potential clients to whom we can promote our services.
- PR and media work: the Foundation regularly conducts media campaigns about substance use, related (such as dual diagnosis, social and legal problems) and vulnerable conditions, holds informative workshops; it is continuously present in online and offline media.
- Academic information dissemination: we regularly hold workshops for different groups of professionals about drug problems and substance use to draw attention to our services.
Administrative and professional structure of the organization
The management body of the Foundation is the Board of Trustees, which ensures that the Foundation reaches its goals and manages the assets of the Foundation with independent jurisdiction and responsibility. The Board of Trustees consists of three members and is represented autonomously by the President of the Board.
The daily operative work of the Foundation is planned, organized and directed by the Managing Director. The managing director is an operational manager who ensures the preparation of the financial and professional plans in alignment with the goals of the Foundation, is responsible for implementing the plans accepted by the Board of Trustees and reports to the Board. The managing director represents the foundation in the daily work with partners and authorities, and exercises the rights of the employer towards the employees of the Foundation.
In addition, the operative management consists of the professional director, the financial manager and the legal consultant who support the managing director with advice related to their job description. Administrative support is provided to the managing director by the office manager of the Foundation’s seat.
The professional organization of the Foundation consists of three units: the Pesti Felépülési Központ (Pest Recovery Center) consists of the 9th district ambulatory clinic and the 8th district community treatment center where planning, organizing and management of work is done by the manager of the recovery center. The Budai Felépülési Központ (Buda Recovery Center) currently consists of the 3rd district ambulatory clinic where professional management is covered by the Chief of the clinic. The Biopolitical Workshop is responsible for projects, innovation and communication which falls under the jurisdiction of the managing director, professional management is done by the coordinator of the Bioplitical Workshop.
In our services we work with a 40-50 members professional team, usually we have 8-10 full time and 2-3 part time employees, 20-25 commissioned workers and 10-12 trainee or regular volunteers. Our professionals come from the following disciplines: psychiatry, social services, addiction consultants, clinical psychology, psychology and social pedagogy.
Some about our most important projects
Since 2006 we have five state-supported services: low threshold services in the 3rd and 9th district of the capital, which works with different tools and methods of reaching, universal, selective and community based prevention and harm reduction. We offer information about institutes, methods and possibilities of rehabilitation, and make status assessments in these services. In this period we had our public services in the 3rd, 8th and 9th district of Budapest. These offer diversion support (alternatives for imprisonment) for substance users and different tools of recovery approach based rehabilitation combined with outpatient treatment for substance users and their relatives. As the services are supported by the state, management of these services work similarly to a project.
We implement 4-6 projects per year. Most of these projects are supported by different state funds (eg. Ministry of Human Capacities) and some are supported by Norway Grants, by firms or private foundations. We aim to develop our services, our experts and sharing our experiences with other suppliers or recognizing and adapting good practices. Between 2016 and 2019 our most significant projects were:
- In the Champions of Recovery project our aim was to destigmatise substance users in our society and provide support to their recovery. By building on their strengths, applying a positive therapeutic and communicative stance we facilitate recovery as well as responsible citizenship. In our project we adapted the UK recovery model through involving clients in redesigning and expanding our services and borrowing progressive methods (recovery champions/advocates, recovery weeks, storytelling techniques) in order to bring this international movement to Hungary. We engaged and involve peers and service providers in and outside of the drugs field by building a recovery website and forum.
- We initiated the What is the matter with the bio-matter? project because due to the intensive change in the trends of substance use the professionals working with substance users are lacking information. Synthetic cannabinoids became one of the most frequently used psychoactive substances. The aim of the program was to gain and spread information from professionals and peers about synthetic cannabinoid use. One of the biggest motivations behind “bio-weed” use is the lack of perceived dangers, which can result in unwanted legal conflicts and social and/or health disadvantages. To be able to reach our goals we gathered information from professionals and peers and presented it on various media platforms.
- In our project, Radio Tanext – Complex Program for Community Based Prevention in High school, we combined tools of selective prevention with methods of community based radio and form of classic school radio in a “last chance”-type high school. Our project, supplemented with creative art and project work elementary, fully reached and involved all the students and teachers in a common work for school-radio. We offered the possibility of group and private consultation for both students and teachers among the issue of typical problems of underprivileged teenagers, and the high volume of substance abuse in the high school.
- We started the project, Online consultancy – as a help for hidden substance users, to offer a surface for hidden substance users and their relatives to get anonymous help. This type of consultancy makes the substance users feel safer during the first steps of asking for help, so it builds a strong trust between client and helper, which finally helps involving clients a recovery process.