This paper presents an evaluative research conducted in a Therapeutic Community for addicts. Such interventions aim the social inclusion of fragile recipients; they are often tortuous and need long times, arising doubts on their effectiveness and efficiency. The intervention on dependencies is an active policy: the activation concept is declined in terms of changes affecting knowledge, opinions, attitudes and motivations guiding behaviors. This approach problematizes the relationship between the implementation process and its results, finding a methodological cornerstone in the theorybased evaluation. The analysis with stakeholders shows characteristics and problems of the local system of services for addictions. With the managers and operators of the Community, indicators are identified and evaluation tools built to monitor the processes and the achievement of results. The study highlights some problems in the assumptions underlying the intervention evaluated, in terms of both processes and results achieved. It emerges the utility of evaluation to foster dialogue between operators on the assumptions of daily actions and the effects produced.
Keywords: Therapeutic Community, Treatment Effectiveness, Theory- Based Evaluation