UNODC conducted Regional Training of Trainers on UTC 20 in Central Asia

The UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia in collaboration with Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section, UNODC HQ held a Regional Training of Trainers (ToT) on Course 20 – “Populations with Special Clinical Needs” which took place in person in Almaty, Kazakhstan on 17-22 July 2023. This course is a part of the Advanced Level of the Universal Treatment Curriculum for Substance Use Disorders (UTC training package).

The seventeen (17) members of the national team of trainers from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan attended the training delivered by the team of UTC Global Master Trainers.

“UNODC World Drug Report 2023 presents the extent and pattern of the use of the psychoactive substances as well as the substance use disorders. The availability of the psychoactive substances continues to be a concern. The number of people who suffer from drug use disorders has increased by 45 per cent over the past 10 years. The demand for treating drug-related disorders remains largely unmet with only one in five people suffering from drug-related disorders being in treatment. The report highlights that the public health, prevention, and access to treatment services must be prioritized worldwide. Given the current context the training organized by the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia is of great value. The training is targeted at the regional and national trainers. The training is not only expected to benefit the participants directly, but also the other addiction professionals across the central Asia once these regional and national trainers engage in echo trainings” said Mr. Borikhan Shaumarov, Senior Programme Officer of UNODC ROCA during ceremonial welcome.

The training workshop focused on a key theme of population with substance use disorders who have special needs. Participants were provided with basic tools necessary to help meet the needs of a broad and diverse array of individuals with substance use disorders. Providing and/or improving access to quality treatment services that address the issues of diversity and address the unique mental health needs of the communities’ different population groups were also discussed. The course also promoted respect and the practice of cultural humility as it highlights the importance of understanding different groups’ health beliefs, practices, cultural and language needs that contribute to individuals relapsing to substance use and engaging in and maintaining recovery.

“The training provided an opportunity to expand our knowledge in this area for subsequent conducting of echo-trainings for our colleagues, since the special population groups (children, adolescents, pregnant women, etc.) are quite common in our practice and management such patients have its own characteristics and uniqueness. With the new knowledge, we will be able to plan the algorithm for providing medical care, considering the needs of each group. It is very important to note that this course well reflects a multisectoral approach - a comprehensive set of services depending on the needs of the client, when all sectors of the state, such as the education system, the social sector, the segment of local government, etc., are included in the service, which in the long term can show the effectiveness and success of therapy” said Ms. Anara Tostokova, Narcologist of the Republican Psychiatry and Narcology Centre of the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic.

“The organization of the training was carried out at a high level, which ensured the possibility of immersion in the educational process in a comfortable atmosphere. Participants not only studied theoretical materials and perform practical algorithms, but also established professional contacts, shared their own practical experience, conducted psychological techniques in a training format and developed presentations with new ideas and plans. The daily stream of brainstorming sessions, mind maps, group discussions and debates kept us in focus in a non-stop manner. The information materials provided to participants were very catching, structural and concise. As a researcher, from the first minutes I noticed that the content of the training course was clearly verified, methodologically justified and had significant scientific support. The trainers performed not only as experienced teachers, but also as sincere friends, sensitive mentors and skillful facilitators. Every hour of working together paved the way for improvement in practical approaches and the emergence of ideas for implementing the acquired skills in drug treatment practice” said Ms. Mariya Prilutskaya, Associate Professor of the Semey Medical University.

The training was organized within the framework of UNODC global project GLOJ71 “Treating drug dependence and its health consequences: Treatnet” in collaboration with Sub-programme 3: Addressing drug problems, increasing treatment of drug use disorders and preventing HIV/AIDS” of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia for 2022-2025 and Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section, UNODC HQ with financial support from U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.


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