Attitudes & Knowledge on Substance Use in displaced communities in Lebanon


1.Ms. Dala Fakhreddine (⚑ Lebanon) 1

2.Ms. Heba Ghannam (⚑ Lebanon) 1

3.Ms. Cecile Khoury (⚑ Lebanon) 1

4.Ms. Nada Kai (⚑ Lebanon) 1

5.Ms. Tatyana Sleiman (⚑ Lebanon) 1

1. Skoun Lebanese Addiction Center



Substance use treatment in Lebanon is provided by 15 facilities, 80% of which located in Mount Lebanon and Beirut (MOPH, 2017). These facilities generally adopt a detoxification treatment. With the ongoing crises, there has been a rise in substance use, particularly with risk factors being higher for refugees as they either adopt the host community’s patterns, carry or exacerbate their patterns of use  (Z. Abbas et al., 2021); coupled with the absence of protective factors (World drug report, 2023). However, SU remains under-reported among displaced communities due to stigmatization, making accessible services scarce.


This case study aims to understand the attitudes and knowledge of frontliners in refugee camps on substance use pre and post harm reduction training.


 Skoun developed a training of trainers for counselors, frontliners, and psychologists working in UNRWA schools for Refugees, focusing on awareness, prevention, and treatment of SU among youth and children. These trainings were preceded with pre-tests and post-tests, administered to 55 participants in 5 locations around Lebanon.

The results showed that most participants had a general understanding of substance use, with 96.4% stating that substance misuse is linked to many factors and 94.74% stating that peer pressure is not the main reason for use. However, there was a significant improvement in their perception of SU, with a 70% decrease in the conception that using is similar to dependence and a 60.53% decrease in the perception that addiction treatment is removing the drug from the body. 92.73% (versus 69%) now understand that strict rules and severe punishment are not a good preventive tool.


The findings suggest that it is necessary to debunk myths about people who use and signs of SU, consolidate information on protective factors and risk factors for diverse populations, and train healthcare providers in managing substance use cases.

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