Five-Year Global Plan of Action to Combat Emerging Synthetic Drug Threats

To deter and disrupt production and trafficking of illicit synthetic drugs into the United States, the Department of State has developed a new strategy that will attack this new business model of illicit international drug supply chains at all points to increase the cost, risk, and difficulties associated with producing, trafficking, and misusing these drugs.

Five-Year Global Plan of Action to Combat Emerging Synthetic Drug Threats

Mental Health in the Americas: An Overview of the Treatment Gap

[ABSTRACT]. Objective. To understand the mental health treatment gap in the Region of the Americas by examining the prevalence of mental health disorders, use of mental health services, and the global burden of disease. Methods. Data from community-based surveys of mental disorders in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, and the United States were utilized. The World Mental Health Survey published data were used to estimate the treatment gap. For Canada, Chile, and Guatemala, the treatment gap was calculated from data files. The mean, median, and weighted treatment gap, and the 12-month prevalence by severity and category of mental disorder were estimated for the general adult, child-adolescent, and indigenous populations. Disability-adjusted Life Years and Years Lived with Disability were calculated from the Global Burden of Disease study. Results. Mental and substance use disorders accounted for 10.5% of the global burden of disease in the Americas. The 12-month prevalence rate of severe mental disorders ranged from 2% – 10% across studies. The weighted mean treatment gap in the Americas for moderate to severe disorders was 65.7%; North America, 53.2%; Latin America, 74.7%; Mesoamerica, 78.7%; and South America, 73.1%. The treatment gap for severe mental disorders in children and adolescents was over 50%. One-third of the indigenous population in the United States and 80% in Latin America had not received treatment. Conclusion. The treatment gap for mental health remains a public health concern. A high proportion of adults, children, and indigenous individuals with serious mental illness remains untreated. The result is an elevated prevalence of mental disorders and global burden of disease.

[RESUMEN]. Objetivo. Comprender la brecha en el tratamiento de la salud mental en la Región de las Américas mediante la revisión de la prevalencia de los trastornos de salud mental, el uso de los servicios de salud mental y la carga mundial de enfermedad. Métodos. Se utilizaron datos de encuestas comunitarias de trastornos mentales de Argentina, Brasil, Canadá, Chile, Colombia, Estados Unidos, Guatemala, México y Perú. Se emplearon los datos publicados de la Encuesta Mundial de Salud Mental para estimar la brecha de tratamiento. Para Canadá, Chile y Guatemala, la brecha de tratamiento se calculó a partir de los archivos de datos. Se estimaron la brecha de tratamiento media, media ponderada, y mediana, y la prevalencia de 12 meses por gravedad y categoría de trastorno mental para las poblaciones generales de adultos, niños y adolescentes, e indígenas. Se calcularon los años de vida ajustados por discapacidad y los años vividos con discapacidad a partir del estudio Carga Global de Enfermedad. Resultados. Los trastornos mentales y por consumo de sustancias representaron el 10,5% de la carga mundial de enfermedad en las Américas. La tasa de prevalencia de 12 meses de los trastornos mentales severos varió del 2% al 10% en los estudios. La brecha de tratamiento media ponderada en las Américas para los trastornos moderados a graves fue del 65,7%; en América del Norte de 53,2%; en América Latina de 74,7%; en Mesoamérica de 78,7%; y en América del Sur de 73,1%. La brecha de tratamiento para los trastornos mentales graves en niños y adolescentes fue superior al 50%. Un tercio de la población indígena en los Estados Unidos y el 80% en América Latina no recibieron tratamiento. Conclusión. La brecha de tratamiento para la salud mental sigue siendo un problema de salud pública. Una gran proporción de adultos, niños y personas indígenas con enfermedades mentales graves continúan sin tratamiento. El resultado implica una prevalencia elevada de trastornos mentales y de la carga mundial de enfermedad.

[RESUMO]. Objetivo. Compreender a lacuna de tratamento em saúde mental na Região das Américas examinando a prevalência de transtornos mentais, o uso de serviços de saúde mental e a carga global de doença. Métodos. Foram utilizados dados de inquéritos comunitários de transtornos mentais na Argentina, Brasil, Canadá, Chile, Colômbia, Guatemala, México, Peru e Estados Unidos. Os dados publicados na Pesquisa Mundial de Saúde Mental foram utilizados para estimar a lacuna de tratamento. Para o Canadá, Chile e Guatemala, a lacuna de tratamento foi calculada a partir de arquivos de dados. A lacuna de tratamento média, média ponderada e mediana, e a prevalência de 12 meses por gravidade e categoria de transtorno mental foram estimadas para as populações adulta, infantil-adolescente e indígena em geral. Os anos de vida ajustados por incapacidade e os anos de vida com incapacidade foram calculados a partir do estudo Carga Global de Doença. Resultados. Os transtornos mentais e de uso de substâncias foram responsáveis por 10,5% da carga global de doença nas Américas. A taxa de prevalência de 12 meses de transtornos mentais graves variou de 2% a 10% entre os estudos. A lacuna de tratamento média ponderada nas Américas para transtornos moderados a graves foi de 65,7%; em América do Norte de 53,2%; em América Latina de 74,7%; em Mesoamérica de 78,7%; e na América do Sul de 73,1%. A lacuna de tratamento para transtornos mentais graves em crianças e adolescentes foi superior a 50%. Um terço da população indígena nos Estados Unidos e 80% na América Latina não recebeu tratamento. Conclusão. A lacuna de tratamento para a saúde mental continua sendo uma preocupação de saúde pública. Uma alta proporção de adultos, crianças e indígenas com doença mental grave permanece sem tratamento. O resultado é uma elevada prevalencia de transtornos mentais e de carga global de doença.

Ahmad Shah

Apply to participate in '16 X 16' Initiative! - BY 19 APRIL 2019. Hurry Up!

Western Canada Addiction Forum

Event Date

The Western Canada Addiction Forum serves as an educational opportunity for those working in, or planning to work in, the addictions field.  

The forum is open to physicians and allied health professionals, including pharmacists, nurses and addiction counsellors, interested in expanding their knowledge of addiction and its related issues.

The Mission

To raise the standard of care through the intellectual and professional pursuit of knowledge and its dissemination to colleagues, patients, and the public at large on the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders and the process of recovery.

The Vision

To raise the standard of patient care by improving the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of individuals with substance use disorders and their families through an integrated system of treatment and recovery, encompassing all those who treat them, including clinic staff, counsellors, social workers, nurses, pharmacists, physicians, administrators, and others.


Recovery is achievable for all those that desire it with appropriate support and resources

Of the whole person in recovery, not just the substance use
Of patients and their families with respect, dignity, compassion, and fairness
Of colleagues with respect, dignity, and fairness.

It is our responsibility to educate patients, their families, our non-addiction medicine colleagues, and the public on matters related to substance use and the comorbidities that occur with it, as well as recovery and how best to achieve it.

We recognize and empower our colleagues to embody the importance and value of teamwork.

Virginia Summer Institute for Addiction Studies

Event Date
United States

The Virginia Summer Institute for Addiction Studies (VSIAS) will take in Historic Williamsburg, Virginia, July 14 – 17, 2019.

This Institute is designed for professionals in the field of substance abuse and mental health, who are interested in keeping current on the latest techniques and resources available. 

Participants come from across the state and nation to attend this conference. This year’s theme is"Brilliance at the Basics and Beyond”.

Who Should Attend?

  • Addiction Counselors
  • Mental Health Counselors
  • Peer Recovery Specialists
  • Students
  • Prevention Specialists
  • Social Workers
  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Educators
  • EAPs

and anyone else interested in addiction treatment!

Ahmad Shah

South East Asian Fellowship Program on Drug Policy 2019

Submitted by Avinash Tharoor on Wed, 03/04/2019 - 15:12



Ahmad Shah

Drug abuse affects all societies worldwide, but the impact differs in male and female. Women and girls comprise ⅓ of global drug users yet are only ⅕ of those receiving treatment.

National Conference on Addiction Disorders West

Event Date

The National Conference on Addiction Disorders (NCAD) is returning to Denver with its NCAD West conference. Join addiction, mental and behavioural health experts for a balanced, professional, and respectful dialogue on different treatment modalities. This is the place to listen and be challenged.

Abstract submission is now open.


The National Conference on Addiction Disorders

Event Date

NCAD East is the premier provider of continuing education for addiction, behavioural, and mental health professionals. Join clinicians and executives alike and work to improve and refine patient care as well as develop sustainable and successful treatment organisations.

The Link between the Marketing of Opioid Products with Mortality from Opioid-Related Overdoses

Prescription opioids are involved in 40% of all deaths from opioid overdose in the United States and are often the first opioids encountered by individuals with opioid use disorder.

Pharmaceutical companies send salespeople to doctors’ offices to promote their drugs. These types of encounters may make physicians consciously or unconsciously more inclined to prescribe a particular brand of a drug or prescribe it in greater quantities. It is also believed pharmaceutical companies pay or offer incentives to doctors to talk about their drugs. Between 2013 and 2015, approximately 1 in 12 US physicians received opioid-related marketing.

A recent study, conducted by researchers at Brown University, has examined the extent to which opioid marketing is associated with subsequent prescribing and, in turn, with opioid-related deaths from overdoses.

The population-based county-level analysis included data on overdoses 2014 to 2016, linked to marketing data 2013 2015.

Results found that:

  • Between August 1, 2013, and December 31, 2015, there were 434 754 payments totalling $39.7 million in non-research-based opioid marketing distributed to 67 507 physicians across 2208 US counties. 
  • Opioid prescribing rates increased with marketing
  • Opioid prescribing rates partly mediated the association between marketing and deaths from opioid overdoses.

The researchers fully acknowledge several limitations to the study including unclear causation, deaths potentially involving prescription plus non-prescription drugs and lack of long term data. However, the researchers suggest that industry marketing to physicians may be damaging efforts to reduce excessive opioid prescribing. Policymakers should continue to consider limiting the extent to which pharmaceutical companies may influence inappropriate opioid prescribing while recognising the need for access to opioids for patients who need them. 

Ahmad Shah

How to apply: Submit the story of the nominee by the nominator with relevant proof of works at iyc [dot] youthenvoy [at] iyc-hq [dot] org

Ahmad Shah

Pakistan U.S. Alumni Network Karachi Chapter Leadership – Karachi was organized first meeting with  Executive Committee on March 14, 2019 (Thursday) at Pakistan American Cultural Center (PACC). 

Ahmad Shah

Glimpses from 2nd Promotion of Peace workshop at University of Education, Bank Road Campus held from 18th to 20th Feb, 2019. During 3 days participants were engaged and empowered of peace activities, role of students in peace building and designing Social Action Projects.

Ahmad Shah

The Master of Education (MEd) programme is open to outstanding teachers and educational leaders at all levels of the education system.

Ahmad Shah

Greetings. Happy to share an exciting opportunity as the brief details are given below:

PUAN Call for Nominations Everest International Model UN Conference 
July 15-19, 2019, Kathmandu, Nepal 


Ahmad Shah

Dear Pakistan U.S. Alumni Network Members,

We would like to thank everyone who applied for Executive Committee. We had only 16 slots for this EC term and we received more than 26 applications. Yet, we have kept people from different programs of U.S. Department of State.

National Drug Control Strategy of the United States

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is proud to announce the release of the National Drug Control Strategy, which outlines how the U.S. Federal government will reduce American fatalities to drug use. Read the strategy in the attachment below. 


CCSA's Issues of Substance 2019 Conference

Event Date

CCSA's Issues of Substance Conference will take place at the Westin Ottawa from November 25-27, 2019, as part of National Addictions Awareness Week. 

The theme for CCSA's IOS 2019 Conference is Evidence and Perspectives, Compassion and Action. 

Join addictions workers, healthcare professionals, researchers, knowledge brokers, and policy and decision makers for presentations and interactive workshops at Canada's premier national conference on substance use and addiction.

CCSA is pleased to announce the call for abstracts for CCSA’s Issues of Substance 2019 conference.

For CCSA's 2019 Issues of Substance, we are requesting presenters to consider sex and gender as part of their work to help create more useful and specific evidence, guidance and perspectives for different groups of Canadians.

The final day to submit an abstract is Monday, January 28, 2019.

Partner Organisation

Atlas of Mental Health of the Americas 2017 / Atlas de salud mental de las Américas 2017


The data in this report show that there has been a gradual development of mental health policies, laws, programs, and services in the Region of the Americas. However, major efforts, commitments, and resources are still needed to meet the regional objectives. The findings set forth in the 2017 Atlas confirm a trend reflected in previous editions: resources are still insufficient to meet the growing burden of mental illness, and are unevenly distributed. Furthermore, the existing services need to be transformed in order to increase coverage and improve access to mental health care, and to ensure that mental health is an integral part of national policies for universal health coverage. At the same time, a potentially positive finding in the Region is that resources and services are gradually being shifted from psychiatric hospitals to community services. This indicates that the countries are moving towards developing community-based mental health programs, a key recommendation of the Pan American Health Organization. The Atlas of Mental Health of the Americas 2017 should help the countries’ health planners and policy makers to identify areas that require urgent attention. In addition, researchers will find the data in the 2017 Atlas useful for research on health services. The Atlas will continue to be of use to health professionals and nongovernmental organizations in their efforts to advocate for more and better mental health resources.


Los datos incluidos en este informe demuestran que en la Región de las Américas existe un desarrollo progresivo en relación con las políticas, leyes, programas y servicios de salud mental. Sin embargo, se necesitan aun grandes esfuerzos, compromisos y recursos para alcanzar los objetivos regionales. Los resultados del Atlas 2017 confirman una tendencia ya percibida en ediciones anteriores: los Recursos siguen siendo insuficientes para satisfacer la creciente carga de la enfermedad mental, y su distribución es heterogénea. Además, los servicios existentes requieren una transformación que permita mejorar la cobertura y el acceso a la atención en salud mental, asegurando que salud mental sea a todos los efectos parte de las políticas nacionales de cobertura universal en salud. Sin embargo, un hallazgo potencialmente positivo en la región es que hay un pasaje gradual de recursos y servicios desde los hospitales psiquiátricos hacia servicios comunitarios. Este hallazgo indica que los países están avanzando hacia el desarrollo de una salud mental basada en la comunidad, una recomendación clave de la Organización Panamericana de la Salud...Confiamos en que el Atlas de Salud Mental de las Américas 2017 ayude a los planificadores de salud y a los creadores de políticas de los países a identificar las áreas que requieren una atención urgente. Además, los investigadores encontrarán los datos de Atlas 2017 útiles para la investigación en servicios de salud. También esperamos que los profesionales de la salud mental y las organizaciones no gubernamentales continúen utilizando el Atlas de Salud Mental en sus esfuerzos para abogar por más y mejores recursos para la salud mental.