Massimo Barra founded in Rome (Italy) in 1976 the Villa Maraini Drug Recovery Center, becoming one of the leading expert on drug and public health strategies worldwide. Over more than 40 years, the Centre radically increased its activities and services, becoming a reference organization in the field of substance abuse treatment as well as in the promotion of humanitarian drug policies. Nowadays, provides a wide range of therapies and services to around 600 drug users per day.
Barra is the author of hundreds of articles, speeches and publications on harm reduction, rehabilitation strategies and humanitarian drug policies. The main strategy of intervention of Dr. Barra consists of adapting the therapy to the subject and not vice versa. He was the first in the world to promote the use of Naloxone by non-medical staff for overdose emergencies. Thanks to this approach, have been saved over 2,500 patients in the streets of Rome that were about to die for overdose. He repeatedly intervened in institutional fora at the UN (New York, Geneva and Vienna), the Council of Europe, the European, Italian and Brazilian Parliaments. He was a member of the Global Fund Board.