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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

versão impressa ISSN 0034-7450


GOMEZ RESTREPO, Carlos et al. Therapeutic Communities In Latin America: An International Descriptive Study In Different Countries Across Latin America. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2018, vol.47, n.3, pp.140-147. ISSN 0034-7450.


In Latin America is not known for certain the quantity or quality of therapeutic communities (TCs) available in the region. The objective of this study is to describe and quantify the quantity and quality of the existing TCs in 5 different countries.


A multicenter quantitative description of the TCs was conducted in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.


A survey was realized through the TCs regulatory entities of each country that accepted to participate in the study.


Of the 285 TCs identified in the 5 countries, 176 (62%) accepted to participate in this study. The TCs quality vas evaluated according to the scoring system stablished by De Leon, finding that 70% of the facilities have scores of 11/12 or 12/12 using these criteria. We also found that the majority of the De Leon criteria are known by more than 90% of the institutions, however, the dimensions of "separation of the community" and "encounter groups between residents" were the least known with 63 and 85% respectively. The main reasons for abandonment of TCs were "not accepting the rules of the institution", "lack of money" and "not feeling comfortable with the facilities". 98% of the TCs provided services to other substance abuse problems, 94% for alcohol and 40% for other types of substances.


The majority of the TCs identified in our sample meet the quality criteria stablished by De Leon, mostly providing services for substance abuse. However, they should put in place additional policies to improve the unfulfilled conditions and investigate the reasons for the dissatisfaction and abandonment of these institutions.

Palavras-chave : Therapeutic communities; Substance related disorders; De Leon criteria Latin America; Alcohol consumption.

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