Lebanon Country Profile

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Drug policy

  • The Interministerial Substance Use Response Strategy for Lebanon 2016- 2021 was developed by the Ministries of Public Health, Social Affairs, Education and Higher Education, Interior and Municipalities and Justice. English / Arabic
  • The strategy hopes to develop the provision of and universal accessibility to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, harm and supply reduction and social reintegration services. 
  • The strategy emphasises the need for an evidence-based and multidisciplinary approach.
  • Six domains of action were identified in the strategy: i) Leadership and governance, ii)Health and social welfare sectors response, iii) Supply reduction, iv) Monitoring and surveillance, v) International cooperation, and vi) Vulnerable groups
  • The strategy hopes to shift the approach of prevention and treatment efforts from specialist services to a more community-based approach. 

Treatment and Recovery Services

  • Services for persons with substance use disorders are provided by NGOs, private clinics and hospitals. 
  • There have been several treatment outreach activities conducted mainly by NGOs in the community, schools and prisons.
  • Persons with drug disorders who have been arrested are offered the choice between imprisonment and treatment.
  • There are several Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST) programmes. Buprenorphine is considered the most appropriate medication and is prescribed by psychiatrists. 
  • Outpatient treatment includes social support and psychotherapy.
  • Detoxification and overdose treatment is available in hospitals.
  • Longterm residential treatment is mainly provided by NGOs and lasts between 15 and 18 months.
  • Individuals are often asked to contribute 15% towards detoxification treatment
  • The accreditation standards for residential substance use rehabilitation programmes can be found here.

Prevention Services

  • In 2010, the National Program for the Prevention of Addiction was established by the Ministry of Social Affairs 
  • There are several prevention programmes, implemented in schools, parishes and youth social institutions, that aim to develop life skills, parenting awareness, and knowledge and understanding of substance use.
  • There have been several large campaigns that have used prominent figures to relay its antidrug messages.
  • Harm reduction efforts are primarily carried out by NGOs and have includedawareness campaign targeting prison inmates covering topics such as HIV and hepatitis awareness and diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.
  • NGOs have developed needle exchange programmes and condom distribution sites.
  • There are Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) for HIV/AIDS services.
  • As of yet, there is no national overdose prevention programme. 
  • There is so far little indication of evidencebased prevention programs being implemented in Lebanon, or any monitoring of the quality or progress of the current prevention efforts.