Vocational Responsibility

Throughout their stay at SanPa, residents are encouraged to explore forms of gratification that might be found in sharing life with others. In addition to meaningful peer-relationships, each individual is accountable for their role in sustaining their community. Residents are engaged in craftsmanship and employment opportunities that foster selfefficacy, belongingness amongst their peers, and preparation for return to the outside world. On the first day of treatment, residents are placed in a module consisting of roughly 30 other individuals. Through this module, they are assigned to a specific work sector and shortly thereafter begin vocational trainings. Sectors of training include those of food (e.g. livestock, cheese factory, a wine cellar, a plantation farm, a garden, a butcher, organic gardens, kitchen, grocery, pizzeria, a restaurant, and bakeries), hospitality (e.g. management, reception, dining room management, plumbing, laundry, electricity, call center, building), self-care (e.g. dental clinic with four offices, medical center, hair dressers, horse stables, tennis facility, library, and kennels), and recreation (tennis facility, theatre workshops, athletics, theatre groups, television broadcast from 7PM-12AM daily, musical groups, design lab). Consistent with the harmonious threads among the residents, SanPa carries an intimacy and sustainability with nature unlike any other TC in the world. Located on over 600 acres of land, SanPa generates its own renewable energy through its solar and methane programs, as well as carries sustainable agriculture practices. Those who work on the land learn farming techniques of past generations, use methods compatible with the environment and natural development of animals, and grow non-GMO foods. Tending to gardens or agriculture requires careful attention to optimal growing environments and patience in growth, which are both necessary in individual recovery 48. Beyond positive psychological effects, engagement in gardening has been found to decrease cortisol levels in those with SUDs or PTSDĀ 49 and decrease blood pressure and muscle tension 50, therefore promoting greater physical well-being for the residents.

  • 48. Simson, S., & Straus, M. (1997). Horticulture as therapy: Principles and practice. CRC Press.
  • 49. Detweiler, M. B., Self, J. A., Lane, S., Spencer, L., Lutgens, B., Kim, D. Y., ... & Lehmann, L. (2015). Horticultural therapy: a pilot study on modulating cortisol levels and indices of substance craving, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and quality of life in veterans. Alternative therapies in health & medicine, 21(4).
  • 50. Ulrich, R. S., & Simons, R. F. (1986). Recovery from stress during exposure to everyday outdoor environments. The costs of not knowing, 115-122.

Weill Cornell Medicine Program for Substance Use and Stigma of Addiction 1300 York Avenue New York, NY 10065 Phone: (212) 746-3738