20 Feb

Good Samaritan Drug Rehabilitation Centre helps Spanish addicts with Olives

A Spanish rehabilitation centre is using olive harvesting as part of its therapy to help substance addicts.

Francis Arjona, founder of the Good Samaritan Drug Rehabilitation Centre near Pozoblanco in Southern Spain, has had a number of run-ins with drug dealers since he began working with addicts. “I have had a couple of knives at my throat and some guns held at me,” he says.

But despite the dangers posed by the dealers he says that the addicts who come to him for help are highly respectful. “I have had addicts as guests in my home but they have never taken anything,” he says.

Set on the side of a hill down a dusty potholed track surrounded by 800 olive trees the centre sits in a tranquil spot. But from November to January, when the annual olive harvest takes place, it becomes a hive of activity. During this period the 30-bed building is full with volunteers from across Europe, including England, joining the recovering addicts in the harvest.

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