‘Freedom from the bonds of substances’

Psychiatrist Katerina Matsa, scientific director of the 18 Ano program, talked to Kathimerini about the role of art in rehabilitation. Art, says Matsa, «helps people who have difficulty expressing themselves in words or being creative to find a way to bring to the surface the burden that they have experienced as pain, to get close to others and to share ideas and feelings. Art in all forms is a form of mediation which helps emancipate people and free them from the bonds of substances.» The 18 Ano art groups have been in regular operation for 10 years, and a study of the group shows that thanks to art, almost 70 percent of the drug users are rehabilitated.