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23 septiembre, 2019

INSOLA: One Step Further in Labour Insertion in Proyecto Hombre

Elena Presencio Serrano

Director General of the Proyecto Hombre Association


“Work is at the core of human dignity.”

“All people are equally deserving of dignity and opportunity”

Leila Janah


Proyecto Hombre was born in Spain in 1984. Since its beginning it has stood for the need for a comprehensive approach for people with addiction problems, promoting their independence, personal development and appropriate integration in society. For this it is essential to deal with multiple points such as emotional, health, family, social and training/labour aspects.

Therefore, the socio-labour reinsertion, understood as a process which begins the moment the person enters the door of one of our Centres, is crucial in the success of the treatment, whose objective is the full integration in society as an active citizen.

In order to know the current importance of the programmes responding to addictions we have the data from the “2018 Report of the Proyecto Hombre Observatory on the Profile of People with Addiction Problems Under Treatment”, carried out on a sample of 2,606 users of Proyecto Hombre (85% men and 15% women) who started treatment throughout 2018 in programmes for adults with addiction problems in 26 Proyecto Hombre centres all over Spain.

The 2018 Report shows that at the start of treatment, the majority of those attended to did not have a job (57% men and 69% women) and their source of income was mainly help from family or friends and social assistance or pensions (36% men and 44% women).  However, the usual labour situation over the last three years shows that they had been mostly working full-time or part-time (77% men and 71% women). From this significant difference in the job pattern we can establish a direct relationship between the consumption of substances and losing a job, as the information shows that 50% of people attended to had lost their job (44% men and 56% women).

We also have information on the type of regular employment of people under treatment: mainly that which does not require previous training (68%), followed by jobs which do need previous training (18%).

Another piece of information which is particularly relevant is the perceived concern of their job problems in the last month, which when valued as an “extreme” and “considerable” concern, is significant (37%), with a similar percentage of concern in men and women. It is also in line with the “extreme” and “considerable” importance which they give to advice on job problems (43% men and 47% women).

Likewise, the 2018 report gathers the type of principal substance for which treatment is demanded, with clearly prevailing substances: alcohol (37%) and cocaine (35%), followed by other substances such as cannabis (8.9%) and heroine and methadone (3.5%).

We can conclude that we find ourselves before a profile of person being attended to which has mostly been employed in the last three years, although in low-skilled jobs, emphasising that 50% have lost their job before joining the Programme due to an addiction problem, mainly of alcohol or cocaine. Furthermore, 4 out of 10 men and women show an “extreme” and “considerable” concern for their job problems and the need for advice.

We find ourselves with people with a more normalised and structured profile which in the 80s and 90s even though in a significant risk of exclusion in profiles which do not have a job and at high risk of losing it in those cases that keep their job. For those who it is fundamental that the approach to their problems with addictions includes the promotion of their abilities and competences of employability.

It is the Law 43/2006 of 29 December, for the improvement of growth and employment, which in its second additional provision recognises as “people at risk of social exclusion those with problems of drug addiction or alcoholism who find themselves in processes of rehabilitation or social reinsertion”.

Likewise, the Spanish National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016 suggests that “it is essential to boost the mechanisms promoting the “maintenance of links” of people in treatment with their work environment and, in any event, to facilitate their reintegration”.   And it is the Spanish National Drugs Strategy 2017-2024 which includes among its strategic objectives “Social incorporation, especially emphasizing labour integration” and also states “To encourage the participation of the private non-profit entities in the development of social and labour insertion programmes through personalised plans”.

Proyecto Hombre historically carries out individualised processes in its programmes, taking into account the consumption profiles, the personal characteristics and the social contexts of the people under treatment, always from the perspective of the biopsychosocial model. In this way, treatment programmes previously more centred on substance are adapted to the socio-labour needs and health of the people attended to, making the programmes more effective.  This approach has been particularly effective in the action on people with problems of opiate dependency (mainly heroine), as the Intervention Network was designed with this profile of people with addiction problems in mind.

Nowadays, as previously indicated, we find ourselves with other social groups with addiction problems which are not so identified, which do not form part of the imaginary “addict” group or receive the “addict social identity”. The complexity is in generating effective intervention systems, with a comprehensive response, closeness and humanity.

The Proyecto Hombre proposal influences the slowing down and/or alleviating of this maladaptive process and allows for people to return to normal means of employment, training, relationships, designing individualised insertion processes, which start from any of the person’s abilities; continue with any other abilities which he/she develops in his/her own therapeutic process and which end with his/her training and/or labour insertion, or improves his/her situation in relation to the start of the process.

In this sense, the Socio-Labour Integration project for people with Addiction problems (INSOLA) has marked one step further in the socio-labour insertion of disadvantaged people who we attend to in Proyecto Hombre. Financed by the European Social Fund, in the framework of the POISES programme, it has allowed for the developing of programmes, with more than 4,600 people benefiting from this in the whole of Spain in the period from 2016 to 2019.

The INSOLA project is aimed at various profiles of people with addiction problems:

  • Users with precarious work, long-term unemployed people and profiles of more complicated consumption, with greater deterioration of relationships in all areas and a decline in their competences which makes their reincorporation a lot more difficult.
  • Mostly people who are employed, who as a result of consumption are putting their job at risk.
  • Inactive people susceptible to entering into the workplace in the medium/long-term, as young people, many minors, with incomplete training plans, academic failure and maladjustable behaviour and difficulties in development; people deprived of their freedom and those who look after their home.

The INSOLA project considers the following phases, called “operations”, which are worked on in line with families:

  • Initial orientation, based on a diagnostic evaluation for the design of socio-labour insertion processes and motivation for change and integration.
  • Training orientation, centred on competence training and development of skills for social and pre-working life.
  • Specialised training orientation, centred on competence training and development of skills for social and working life, which includes labour mediation and incorporation in insertion companies.

The INSOLA project is succeeding in improving our quality of attention to users, facilitiating their orientation, training and labour insertion and managing to get them to keep their position, previously at risk due to substance consumption.

In order to evaluate the INSOLA project and its results, the MEDINSOLA project has been managed at the same time, from which a pilot study is being carried out, which will allow for quality information to be provided for the analysis of processes and results, and therefore contribute to a better knowledge and adaptation of the programmes to the needs of the users.

Beyond the different terms that we can use to define this process, such as: insertion, reinsertion, integration, incorporation or reincorporation, etc. the most important thing is what it means for the people who we accompany in Proyecto Hombre: getting a job

In conclusion, it is important to show that beyond the different terms that we can use to define this process, such as: insertion, reinsertion, integration, incorporation or reincorporation, etc. the most important thing is what it means for the people who we accompany in Proyecto Hombre: getting a job. And what it means is a normalised link with society, economic independence, breaking a stigma, becoming an active citizen, etc. In short, it brings dignity to people’s lives. And this is the basis on which a better society can be built.

Proyecto Hombre is the effort of many people: professionals, therapists, family members, volunteers, all together in order to accompany and help people in the process of rehabilitation and social reinsertion.

And above all, it is the story of people like Angela, who face their reality with a spirit of improvement and hope: “I learned to listen, to be more relaxed and fight for what I want; you are always going to achieve it. You always have to have a purpose and never leave it behind. If you want something, fight for it and you will achieve it.”

Proyecto Hombre



  • Aragonés, B.; Bonet, X ; Capellas, R.; García, J.; Gonzalez, F.; Fernández, M.A.; Mullor, J.; Rueda, F.; Presencio, E. 2018 Report of the Proyecto Hombre Observatory on the Profile of People with Addiction Problems Under Treatment.
  • Law for the Improvement of Growth and Employment (Law 43/2006, 29 December)
  • Spanish National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016
  • Spanish National Strategy on Addictions 2017-2024

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