Institute for Addiction and Dependency Issues

Since legal and illegal drug use and eating and behavioural disorders involving dependency and addiction have become an increasingly serious problem for our society, the institute, in the framework of the academic programme of the Friedensau Adventist University, is faced with the following ethical and scientific challenges and tasks:

  • to use application-oriented addiction research, in close collaboration with clinics, counselling centres and self-help groups, to evaluate existing treatment options, test new therapy techniques and strategies, and thus contribute to the improvement of the care available,
  • to evaluate primary prevention strategies, to develop additional and new strategies, to evaluate these critically and to create the preconditions for their implementation,
  • to participate in basic research in collaboration with relevant university departments and institutes,
  • to apply findings from addiction research in the ongoing training of social workers and theologians,
  • to hold training and professional development events for doctors, theologians, social workers, nursing staff and other care personnel,
  • to train addiction workers, addiction counsellors and telephone counsellors for addiction issues,
  • to support the work of addiction workers and telephone counsellors and to carry out supervisions,
  • to maintain contacts and exchange experiences with inpatient and outpatient therapy facilities which are initiated and managed by the Protestant free church of the Community of the Seventh-Day Adventists, and to create networks between them where possible,
  • to collaborate with the International Commission for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (ICPA at the United Nations).

Although addiction research has produced many new insights over the last 30 years, many questions still remain open. Furthermore, the number of people suffering from dependency and addiction has risen markedly. The traditional legal and illegal drugs have been supplemented by new ones, which are particularly dangerous for adolescents. Every year over 120,000 Germans die of the consequences of their consumption of addictive substances. If we take into consideration the immediate environment of addicts, partners and children who always suffer as well, we have at least 10 million Germans who have to deal directly with problems of addiction.

Unfortunately, there is a serious dearth of information about addiction issues both among the general population and on the part of some doctors, care personnel, theologians etc. Hence the institute’s core tasks are not just scientific research, but also training, holding professional development events, and supporting the work of graduates.

On 11 November 2001, on the initiative of the institute, a symposium was held on the topic of “The importance of spiritual offerings in addiction therapy”. The lectures, delivered by well-known speakers, were published in the university’s in-house journal, “Spes Christiana”.

The institute’s research is entirely academic and not-for-profit.

Head of institute

Lothar SchmidtProf. Dr. med.
Social medicine
Karl-Hofer-Str. 43
D-14163 Berlin
Tel.: + 49 (0) 30 8 02 37 50
lothar.schmidt@thh-friedensau.de