In Ukraine, substance use disorders (SUDs) and rates of HIV infection are growing, the number of specialists does not meet country’s addiction treatment demands, and the quality of the care is often insufficient and does not cover the current treatment needs. A necessary first step to improving care for people with SUD in Ukraine is training needs assessment of addiction specialists.
A survey instrument, “Training Needs Survey for SUD Specialists,” developed by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, was translated and adapted by the Ukrainian team of researchers. All institutions and organisations that identified as providing treatment for SUDs received the survey. This article details the training needs of people working with patients with SUDs based on a representative sample of addiction specialists at different types of treatment organisations in all regions of Ukraine.
Different specialty groups had different training needs based on the individual’s role in the treatment process. Addiction counselors expressed the greatest overall need for training. Compared to other specialists, the managers for social, educational, and psychological work with incarcerated individuals expressed a lower need for training. Training in medication-assisted therapy was not a high priority for respondents from any specialty group.
The survey assessing the training needs of people working with patients with SUDs identified a wide range of interests that varied by the respondent’s role and profession. Existing training courses and programs often do not cover complex issues of interest to specialists or reflect a multidisciplinary approach. Therefore, current training courses require changes that align with modern concepts of addiction treatment.