The First Walk-Through Training on UTC 1 to 4 Held in Albania

Dear ISSUP members,

My name is Andia Meksi and I would like to share with you some information regarding UTC training held in Tirana, Albania.

The Colombo Plan- Drug Advisory Program and the University of California, San Diego in collaboration with the Albanian Faculty of Medicine and UNODC and conducted a five-day Walkthrough on “Universal Treatment Curriculum for Substance Use Disorders: Course 1 to 4” for Albanian and Kosovo health professionals and university lecturers from 3rd to 7th of February 2020 in Tirana, Albania .The training was held at premises of the Medical University of Tirana and was facilitated by Irena Çeko-Marko (ICAP I), Andia Meksi (ICAP I) and Alma Pula (ICAP I).

A total of 24 academic professionals and health practitioners from university and government institutions, treatment centers, and recovery community attended the training.

The Walkthrough training aims to introduce participants from academic and drug treatment background from Albania and Kosovo with the content and practices of the UTC 1 to 4, provide a platform for teaching on SUD and increase the number of addiction professionals in the future.

A total of 24 participants attended the training. Of them, 20 were from Albania and 4 from Kosovo. They were from diverse backgrounds and included toxicology and addiction medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, public health practitioners.  14 out of 20 participants were lecturer in a faculty of medicine or nursing in Albania  and 2 out of 4 participants from Kosovo were also lecturer from the faculties of medicine and nursing.

Participants actively took part in interactive discussions and small group activities. They were eager to provide feedbacks, ask questions and seek clarifications. New concepts were introduced and discussed among participants. Most agreed that these new concept need to be adopted and integrated within the existing treatment services, some of them are using or will use them in their treatment settings, while others felt that they were not related to their working field.

Participants restated that they enjoyed and appreciated the training. Some shared that they were attending such training for the first time. They thanked Colombo Plan and the University of California, San Diego  for organizing this Training of Trainers and requested UNODC and Colombo Plan (DAP) for providing more training opportunities in the future.