A-Clinic Foundation

The A-Clinic Foundation is a non-governmental organisation and service provider founded in 1955. Our treatment and rehabilitation services, substance abuse prevention and expert services help to reduce substance abuse and other psychosocial problems. In addition, we strive to improve the standing of substance abusers and their families in society.

The guiding principles of the A-Clinic Foundation are the respect for human dignity, confidentiality, tolerance and responsibility.

The A-Clinic Foundation is a non-profit organisation. Our four regional districts negotiate framework contracts and service outsourcing contracts with municipalities or joint municipal authorities. The central office is involved in national and international activities in the fields of prevention, information, development and training. The NGO activities are mainly funded by grants from The Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations (STEA).

The A-Clinic Foundation has over 700 employees and an annual budget of 50 million euros. The Foundation’s services are used annually by 25 000 clients. In addition, our e-services reach over 160 000 monthly users.

Service Provision

The A-Clinic Foundation aims at equality in partnerships and complements municipal services with its expertise. The treatment and rehabilitation we provide has been proven to be effective and is tailored to the needs of each client. Goals are set together with the clients.

Our service provision is administratively divided into four regional districts. The Addiction Hospital provides nationwide services.

Outpatient services include A-Clinics, youth clinics, substitution treatment clinics, health and social counselling centres for intravenous drug users and day activities centres. Outpatient work consists largely of therapy or counselling for individuals, couples, families or groups.

Inpatient treatment is offered at detoxification centres, rehabilitation units and the Addiction Hospital. The most commonly provided inpatient programme is detoxification or managed withdrawal from alcohol or polydrug abuse. The Addiction Hospital is the only specialised hospital for the treatment of addictions in Finland.

Residential services are provided in sheltered housing units.

NGO Activities

The A-Clinic Foundation works to improve the prevention and treatment of substance abuse and mental health problems in cooperation with other non-profit service providers. The Foundation organises training, carries out research and provides the general public with a broad range of electronic services. In addition, we publish books, reports, brochures and a journal on substance abuse prevention and treatment titled Tiimi.

We have a long history and a central role in providing training in addiction work methods and other specialised skills for health care and social work professionals. The aim of our development and research work is to test the applicability of new prevention, treatment or rehabilitation methods in the context of the current alcohol and drug situation in Finland.

Welfare policy advocacy and the provision of expert services are also an integral part of our mission. The focus of our international activities is mainly on the neighbouring previous Soviet countries and the EU countries. The Foundation is particularly active in projects and networks involving substance abuse education, utilizing new information techniques, drug use prevention and harm reduction, child protection, poverty and marginalisation.

Our electronic services provide support for treatment work and prevent alcohol and addiction problems by disseminating information. AddictionLink is Finland’s most popular site dealing with substance abuse and addiction. The aim is to help people make use of their own resources and to lower the threshold for seeking support and assistance.

Background

The A-Clinic Foundation was established in 1955 by 16 organisations, including medical and public health, temperance movement and social welfare organisations, and bodies representing the state alcohol monopoly, alcohol research and non-governmental alcoholism treatment services. By offering voluntary outpatient treatment, A-clinics were a counterbalance to the compulsory residential treatment provided by the government and local authorities.

Over the years, outpatient A-clinics have been established throughout the country. In addition, a range of other specialised addiction services, for example inpatient rehabilitation and residential services, are available. In general, specialised addiction services in Finland address any substance-related problem. Problem gambling and other non-chemical dependencies can also be treated within the same services. In most cases, treatment services also engage in preventive work.