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Winners in the Fight Against Drugs Use Their Experience to Help Others

We thought that we would report on something positive in Costa Rica today, and of course it has nothing to do with the Costa Rican government because 90% of those in office are only concerned in scamming money out of projects and tax payer money.  Maureen Paniagua is an expert in therapies for people with addictions. She knows by heart the treatment process and the 12 steps to recovery. She also knows the characteristics of addicts.

drug rehab costa ricaShe knows because in recent years have been trained in that kind of attention, but the main source of their knowledge is their own experience.

Paniagua is 33 years old, two children and not a single trace of the almost 13 years, during which used marijuana, cocaine, and even crack .

Last Friday went up the steps of the auditorium stage at Alberto Brenes Córdoba, Faculty of Law at the University of Costa Rica (UCR).

Along with 67 others, she received a certificate that proves to give addicts recovery therapy.

Maureen passed the first level after attending for more than two months courses related to psychology, anatomy, chemistry and communication. Others present were certified in a second level.

In total, the program has five modules. The courses are taught by the schools of Pharmacy and Nursing at the UCR.

Mauritius Parrales, program coordinator, explained that it is a joint initiative of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Costa Rican Drug Institute, the Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (IAFA), the UCR and NGOs.

“What is sought is the homogenization because they saw that there were many centers, but that knowledge was not the same,” said Parrales.

The coordinator noted that the profile of who could enter the program is that they were people who help others, but in the past also had overcome an addiction.

“Many school leaders, have lived with their experience and have developed programs that empirically,” he added.

Paniagua, meanwhile, highlighted the value of personal experiences. “One understands the problem, know how they feel, almost always knows if you are telling the truth or not,” said the woman.

In the first row of the auditorium, next to Maureen Paniagua, were also Xiomara Salguero and Virginia Montero.

Salguero is the guide of the Peace House Center, located in Alajuela, where he now is cooperating Paniagua.The shelter cares for seven women who are in the process of recovery.

Montero is another winner, giving spiritual guidance to women in recovery.

Behind them, in the Auditorium, dozens of collaborating centers waiting to hear his name.

Geovanny Segura (the Alcoholics Rehabilitation Center in Goicoechea) and Alex de la Paz (Home Saving Alcohol in Coronado) were two of them. Both got out of his addiction to liquor and today provide support to others.

“We know the suffering they bring, the stigma of society, then we have a better human sensitivity,” said Segura.

“Whoever has had the opportunity to leave the hell of alcohol, have to do something for others,” said De la Paz.

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