It is with great pleasure that the current issue is almost entirely compiled by publications from postgraduate students’ dissertations. They were students at the postgraduate course on Criminal Law and Addictions, organized by the Law School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Law School of the University of Nicosia in Cyprus with the cooperation of the Therapy Centre for Dependent Individuals (KETHEA) in Greece. The goal is to inaugurate a new path in this journal, one that focuses on the efforts of young scientists and sets up the ground for an open communication channel for young researchers and future scientists in the field. At the same time EXARTISEIS include, for the first time, the publication of a group of Greek researchers, theorists and therapists in English, hoping that it will help disseminating this work to a larger number of readers.
The topics covered in the current issue include the construction of meaning from drug addiction and treatment as well as issues of identity brought about by dual diagnosis individuals. A paper around the positive effects of exercise on the treatment of drug addiction is also included in this issue, as well as another one emphasizing the special value of art and training in the process of drug addiction treatment. Adolescence seems to be a really important issue, as well as matters of choice and responsibility in the process of drug addiction.
The first two papers, outcome of the efforts of the postgraduate students of Criminal Law and Addictions to be included in EXARTISEIS are presented by Dimitris Theodoridis and Panagiotis Keramefs. The latter’s study focuses on a very interesting and rather complicated issue which is the construction of identity for people with dual diagnosis. Focus groups and thematic analysis were used for the collection of data, emphasising the concept of identity for dual diagnosis patients, the bias and prejudice that these individuals may experience as well as the interactions between groups. Of special interest are the perceptions around the double stigma and social prejudice as well as the social interactions for people with dual diagnosis.
The study conducted by D.Theodoridis deals with deviant behaviour and drug use among adolescents and their treatment based on a pedagogic, legal, psychological and other scientific views, aiming to investigate the necessity for a coopertation between custody and drug addiction treatment services for adolescents. The study used one-on-one interviews, from the Adolescents’ Custody Services in Thessaloniki, and the treatment program KETHEA ANADYSI. The outcomes underline the need for training for the professionals working in the field, as well as the importance of a cooperation between the two systems that will be in favour of the adolescents.
The Patouna and Poulopoulos’ study around the construction of meaning relating to gambling addiction and its treatment is particularly interesting as it focuses on the perceptions and experiences of male individuals addicted to gambling and those of their spouses. Aim of the study is to bring out the meaning as identified by the gamblers themselves as well as their spouses/partners regarding the addictive behaviour as well as their motives for seeking treatment. Sixty biographies were collected and analysed for the study in cooperation with KETHEA ALFA, a program for the treatment of gambling addiction. The study concludes that the meaning attributed to gambling may be replaced by a new one offered by treatment which constitutes the means to empowering both the individual and the couple, and brings up the positive and optimistic side of life and the relationship of the couple.
The article on The Impact of Exercise On Drug Addiction Treatment by Diamantis, Theodorakis and Goudas is the first paper by Greek authors to be published in English. A qualitative study, which included observation of participants at a physical exercise program during six months and focus group interviews led to the conclusion that physical exercise has a positive effect on the mood and behaviour of the participants, increasing their self-esteem and self-confidence and reducing resistance to treatment. The study argues that exercise should be included in the philosophy of all rehabilitation programs for drug addiction as it not only improves the physical condition and the mood of the patients but also has the potential to influence early drop out from treatment.
Something different included in the current issue is related to the importance of theatre for the treatment process. This article is the outcome of cooperation between KETHEA ARIADNE and the Ephorate of Antiquities of Chania with, which led to the creation of a training program for people who are at the first stage of treatment. The paper was co-authored by George Gavrilakis and Michael Milidakis, estimating the intervention that took place during a multi-faceted training program titled: “Let’s get acquainted with the Ancient Theatre by staging a play”. They selected theatre as their intervention tool due to its therapeutic capacity to liberate suppressed passions. The whole intervention was based on experiential, theoretical and other methods which reinforce the interaction of members in order to support the understanding of their role, of their self and the others.
Another publication also by young scientists is included in here and it treats the issues of responsibility, freedom and choice in the process of drug addiction treatment. Maria Smyrnaki and Ioanna Mitadi analyse the aforementioned concepts as inter-related and inter-connected in understanding the pathology of drug addiction as well as the reinforcement of the therapeutic process.
The richness of this material is only encouraging; reinforcing us to continue and support the shaping of a research-based mentality in the field of drug addiction, with the aim to promote science free of any type of limitations.