A senior physician at the National Center of Addiction Medicine in Iceland (SÁÁ) has criticized the government’s cooperation with Christian treatment homes for drug addicts and alcoholics.
The criticism followed a Monday announcement from Minister of Social Affairs Magnús Stefánsson that government funding to Christian treatment home Byrgid would be cut due to insufficient records of how the money was spent. Fréttabladid reports.
The home was immediately shut down and the six individuals who were undergoing treatment there were sent to another Christian treatment home, Samhjálp.
Senior physician at SÁÁ Thórarinn Tyrfingsson said that by sending these individuals to Samhjálp, which he referred to as “a group of fanatics,” the minister propagated an official position of addiction as a sin, not a disease.
Tyrfingsson said he found it “peculiar” that the government had decided not to seek advice at SÁÁ which employs professionals who have experience in treating addiction. He said no one from the government had contacted him about this case.