Meeting of Global Drug Demand Reduction Partners on Workforce Development

Last week ISSUP staff attended the Global Drug Demand Reduction Partners on Workforce Development meeting organised by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) to share their experience and practices in reducing substance use disorders and plan for future collaborations. The week-long meeting was hosted by the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) in Washington, D.C. with representatives from other International Organisations including the African Union, the Drug Advisory Programme (DAP) of the Colombo Plan, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as well as other experts from around the world.

The meeting allowed the opportunity for ISSUP to share future website developments with everyone present as well as highlight ISSUP's role in training data collection. ISSUP was also able to hold a Planning Committee meeting for this year's ISSUP workshop in Kenya. ISSUP looks forward to working closely with our partners on different initiatives and supporting each other in our efforts to professionalise the substance use prevention and treatment workforce.


The representatives present from the international organizations developed and agreed on the following text of the meeting’s achievements:

International Organizations Collaborate on UNGASS Implementation:

Developing a Global Drug Demand Reduction Workforce

The 2016 Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS) concluded an Outcome Document with recommendations that included to,

“p) provide guidance, assistance and training to health professionals on [the] appropriate use [of standards on the treatment of drug use disorders developed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the World Health Organization and other relevant international standards], and consider developing standards and accreditation for services at the domestic level to ensure qualified and scientific evidence-based responses;”


“q) Intensify, as appropriate, the meaningful participation of and support and training for civil society organizations and entities involved in drug-related health and social treatment services, in accordance with national legislation and in the framework of integrated and coordinated national drug policies, and encourage efforts by civil society and the private sector to develop support networks for prevention and treatment, care, recovery, rehabilitation and social reintegration in a balanced and inclusive manner;”

During the week of January 29-February 2, 2018 the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the Organization of American States hosted international partners from the African Union, the Drug Advisory Programme (DAP) of the Colombo Plan, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to discuss how to advance the implementation of UNGASS internationally in reducing substance use and substance use disorders. Other representatives included experts from around the world who develop training curricula for international use as well as the International Society for Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP), an organization focused on creating professional networks and the International Consortium Universities for Drug Demand Reduction (ICUDDR) comprised of 92 Universities worldwide to develop curricula for the University setting.

The week-long meeting commenced with the review of the rigorous process to develop curricula to train professionals in the field of substance use disorders using best practices for treatment, prevention and recovery and discussed current efforts of ongoing collaboration on the review of curricula by experts in the field, making the use of the Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC) and the Universal Prevention Curricula (UPC), which is some of the most up to date material on the best practices used to treat and prevent substance use disorders.

The representatives shared ongoing collaborative efforts in curricula development focused on the treatment of women, adolescents, children, and rural populations, as well as training for policymakers and health professionals to include primary care physicians. The development of online curricula and online learning opportunities were also identified and plans were developed to expand e-learning in 2018.

International partners agreed to continue in their efforts to develop a global workforce to prevent and treat those with substance use disorders through prevention and treatment training and making it more widely available for countries to utilize. In addition to making the curricula available, participants also agreed to support Member States in their effort to explore and consider credentialing of professionals and the accreditation of services.

Member states are invited to join the UTC and UPC training program. For more information and to request collaboration in joining this global training program, please contact the drug demand reduction focal points in your respective institutions (African Union, Colombo Plan, Organization of American States, and UNODC).