The San Martín Region was in the 80s and early 90s one of the main areas of production of basic cocaine paste (PBC), and Tarapoto was amongst the three cities with the highest drug use in Peru. This area of the Upper Amazon also has great biodiversity that serves as the basis for numerous indigenous medical practices which are still very lively and dynamic. These practises are able to offer therapeutic options for some of the great contemporary challenges in public health.
While official conventional medicine usually offers poor results in the treatment of addiction, scientific observation has been able to verify the high efficacy of traditional ancestral treatments in treating dependencies on toxic substances. Since the '60s of the last century, Peruvian neuro-psychiatry has stood out worldwide for its study of native medicines (C-A. Seguin, M.Lemlij, O.Rios, F.Cabieses, M.Chiappe, etc.). In 1978, Dr. Mario Chiappe reported to WHO the high percentage of cases of alcoholism cured using the traditional methods of North Andean healers in Peru.
Since 1986 Takiwasi's basic research has focused on the work of Amazonian healers, especially the ritualized use of medicinal plants for the treatment of addiction to various drugs and alcohol. On this basis, in 1992, Takiwasi opened its doors to offer a protocol of care to legal or illegal drug users (PBC, marijuana, alcohol, drugs, etc.). Infrastructure was built to accommodate patients, and a multidisciplinary team consisting of doctors, psychologists, educators, healers and several therapeutic assistants was formed. From the beginning Takiwasi received requests for treatment. Requests from both individuals and people were referred here public institutions and NGOs. Takiwasi proudly welcomes local, national and foreign patients.
Our center is a Therapeutic Community categorized as a "Medical Support Service: Support Centers for Psychoactive Substance Dependents and Other Dependencies", with Operational Authorization issued by the Regional Health Directorate of San Martín – Peru, through THE JEFATURAL RESOLUTION 039-DG-DIRES/SM-96 and renewed with Resolution No. 009 – 2021 – GRSM/DIRESA – SM / DIREFISSA of January 06, 2021. Takiwasi is one of the few Therapeutic Communities in Peru to have legal recognition. We are also associated with CENSI, Centre for National Studies of Intercultural Health, ACTP, Association of Peruvian Therapeutic Communities and WFTC, World Federation of Therapeutic Communities.
According to this Operating Authorization, Takiwasi can only treat male patients between 18 and 50 years of age. For over 50s it is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, according to medical conditions and substance(s) of addiction. For cases of pure alcoholism, we also evaluate on a case-by-case basis, since this issue is often more complex, especially if people are older and there is no adequate family support after treatment.