African Civil Society Common Position on Drugs

Building on developments at the international level – including the March 2019 Ministerial Declaration on strengthening actions for the world drug problem and the recently adopted African Union Plan of Action on Drug Control – please find the‘African Civil Society Common Position on Drugshere.

The document seeks to incorporate the perspectives and guide the work of a wide range of NGOs from across the African continent, and help to shape and guide civil society and governmental responses over the coming years. The VNGOC is delighted to be supporting this initiative alongside our African partners.

The document originates from a consensus-building partnership forum organised by the Slum Child Foundation in Nairobi, Kenya in April 2019. Since that meeting, the document has been through three rounds of consultation. A first draft was shared with civil society partners across Africa for their inputs and suggestions via email in June 2019. A revised version was then discussed by civil society organisations during the meeting of the African Union STC on Health, Population and Drug Control at the end of July 2019. A final draft was circulated among civil society partners across Africa between October and December 2019. 

The final version, with sign-ons from across the continent, was formally launched and presented at a side event during the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in March 2020.

Tobacco Use among Older Adults in Egypt

Tobacco use is the primary risk factor common to the four main groups of non-communicable diseases— cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung disease and diabetes (NCD Alliance).

Figures gathered from the Egypt Global Adult Tobacco Survey (2009) show that Egypt is listed as one of the top ten per capita consumers of tobacco. 

Despite being particularly vulnerable to damage from tobacco use, there is a particularly high prevalence of smoking amongst older adults in Egypt.

The aim of this study was to investigate how many older adults in Egypt use tobacco in its different forms.

This cross-sectional study was carried out in Mansoura District (both urban and rural areas). 

Information was gathered through interviews carried out by nurses linked to the local health institution.

Results from the research found that:

  • The prevalence of active current tobacco smoking among participants was 25.3%,
  • The prevalence of passive smoking was 37.1%, while
  • 6.3% of the sample described themselves as ex-smokers.
  • Among active current smokers, nicotine dependence was 42.3%
  • 23.3% had failed to quit smoking, while 30.3% had the intention to quit.
  • Being male, having low levels of education and religiosity, and urban residence were the independent predictors of current smoking.

Understanding which factors are mainly linked to smoking amongst this age group can help practitioners design interventions that specifically target older adults. 

UNODC Strategic Vision for Africa 2020-2030

On entering the Decade of Action 2030, UNODC recognizes the need to increase efforts in Africa. UNODC proposes adopting a ‘business unusual’ approach in order to support Africa towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and priority goals of the African Union Agenda 2063. UNODC pledges to work with Africa to better address a significant number of issues critical for Africa’s stability, safety, security and health and to leave no one behind.

As communicated by Executive Director, Ms. Ghada Waly, during Africa Day in May 2020, UNODC is developing its Strategic Vision for Africa 2020-2030 which proposes accelerated and enhanced levels of cooperation with Africa in the areas of drug control, crime prevention, terrorism prevention, anti-corruption and addressing transnational organized crime. 

UNODC is inviting stakeholders to inform and be part of a consultative process to collect advice, insights, input and recommended approaches in response to needs and priorities.

To guide the reflection, we would be grateful if you could provide your views and inputs through this online questionnaire which poses the following questions:

  1. What key challenges does Africa face over the next decade with regard to drug control, addressing transnational organized crime, crime prevention and criminal justice systems? On which gaps or cross-cutting issues should UNODC focus more?

  2. Which solutions do you propose to address these challenges and how can UNODC support these efforts?

  3. How can UNODC support you to build bridges between Member States and civil society networks?

  4. How can UNODC work better with CSOs or the private sector to widen funding opportunities to address those challenges?

  5. Which national, regional and international partners would you propose for UNODC to collaborate with to address these challenges?

  6. What role do you see for civil society organizations and communities in realizing the opportunities and addressing the challenges you have identified?

Please note that the deadline for providing input via the online questionnaire is midnight (CET) on Friday 3 July 2020.
Inputs can be provided in Arabic, English or French. 

Answers or further inputs can also be provided directly by email to sarah [dot] vanderveen [at] un [dot] org.

The main outcomes of the consultative process of the UNODC Strategic Vision for Africa 2020-2030 will be available as a presentation in August 2020. Using the online form, please indicate whether you would like to receive a copy of this presentation by email.

Illicit Drug Trafficking and Use in Libya: Highs and Lows

Following the overthrow of Muammar Gadhafi in 2011, Libya has faced security and economic challenges. Drug trafficking and consumption have also increased significantly over the past years.  This report by the U.S. Institute of Peace documents drug trafficking, drug use, treatment efforts, and Libya's conflict dynamics. 

Motivational Interviewing Course: Assisting Patients in Making Sustainable Positive Lifestyle Changes

We invite you to register for this free webinar-based training course on Motivational Interviewing (MI). The three week long series is presented by Igor Koutsenok, MD, MS, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego, Department of Psychiatry.

Igor Koutsenok ISSUP Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing is an essential, client-centered, counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence. We are absolutely thrilled to bring you this skills-building opportunity presented by a recognized expert in the field of MI.

The course consists of four sessions to be held during June 2020 (see course descriptions and session dates below).

We highly encourage registration for all sessions.

Course Description

This is a training in evidence-based clinical methods of motivational interviewing (MI). After orientation to the underlying spirit and principles of MI, practical exercises will help participants to strengthen empathy skills, recognize and elicit change talk, and roll with resistance. Research evidence will be reviewed for the efficacy of MI and for the importance of building therapeutic relationships in clients’ outcomes. Integration of MI with other treatment modalities will be considered.     

Course Objectives

The goal is to provide knowledge and practical skill training for various practitioners on effective ways to enhance motivation of patients with substance use disorders that require significant behavioral changes to initiate and sustain positive and healthy behavioral choices. Skill building, and experiential training will be emphasized throughout the course by exercises to develop a therapeutic alliance with patients, assess patient needs, level of engagement in treatment process, structure treatment sessions, select appropriate interventions, and assist patient in maintaining motivation for a sustainable behavioral change.

Participants will learn the basic and advanced skills in motivational interviewing and strategies for engaging patients in collaborative relationship in treatment process and assist them in achieving sustainable positive behavioral changes. The course will:

  1. Help participants to acquire a systemic perspective of motivational interviewing and other motivational enhancement strategies;
  2. Build necessary clinical skills and attitudes to implement new strategies in working with ambivalent patients.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, every participant will be able to:

  1. Describe all the aspects of the spirit of MI
  2. Explain the differences between MI and other counselling strategies
  3. Demonstrate the ability to respond to clients with reflective listening statements
  4. Identify change talk within client speech
  5. Generate open questions designed to elicit change talk
  6. Generate MI-consistent responses to client resistant statements
  7. Differentiate commitment language from other forms of change talk
  8. Provide and empathetic summary statements collecting change talk

Course Content, Dates & Registration

Session 1: Thursday June 4th 2020

Motivational Interviewing: Basic Understanding

After orientation to the underlying spirit and principles of MI, practical exercises will help participants to strengthen empathy skills, recognize and elicit change talk, and roll with resistance. Research evidence will be reviewed for the efficacy of MI and for the importance of building a therapeutic relationship in clients’ outcomes. Integration of MI with other treatment modalities will be considered.  

Learning outcomes:

  • Introduction: Motivation and behavioral change in addiction medicine
  • Review of the concepts of Ambivalence, Stages of change, the righting reflex, limits of persuasion.
  • Spirit of MI
  • Expressing empathy
  • Roadblocks to communication
  • Four Processes in MI

Time: 9am Pacific / 12pm Eastern / 5pm London

Duration: 1 hour

Webinar Recording 

Slide Deck

Session 2: Thursday June 11th 2020

Fundamental Skills in MI - OARS

This session will focus on Fundamental Skills in MI (OARS), providing practical exercises to help participants to strengthen empathy skills, recognize and elicit change talk, and roll with resistance. Participants will learn strategies for engaging patients in a collaborative relationship in the treatment process and assist them in achieving sustainable positive behavioral changes. Research evidence will be reviewed for the efficacy of MI and for the importance of building a therapeutic relationship in clients’ outcomes. Integration of MI with other treatment modalities will be considered.    

Learning outcomes:

  • Open and closed ended questions
  • Affirmations
  • Summaries
  • Rowing with OARS

Time: 9am Pacific / 12pm Eastern / 5pm London

Duration: 1 hour

Webinar recording

Session 3: Thursday June 18th 2020

Fundamental Skills in MI Continued

This third session will continue to focus on MI fundamentals, with a focus on more advanced skills and the integration of MI with other strategies and treatment modalities. Research evidence will be reviewed for the efficacy of MI and for the importance of building therapeutic relationship in clients’ outcomes.       

Learning outcomes:

  • Recognition and responding to change talk and sustain talk
  • Forming reflections
  • Levels of reflections
  • Recognizing readiness
  • Initial and intermediate planning
  • Integration with other skills and strategies

Time: 9am Pacific / 12pm Eastern / 5pm London

Duration: 1 hour

Webinar recording 

Session 4: Friday June 19th 2020

The fourth and final session will continue to build on MI Fundamentals covered in Session 3, increasing your knowledge of advanced MI skills.

Time: 9am Pacific / 12pm Eastern / 5pm London

Duration: 1 hour

Webinar recording 

We look forward to you joining us for these virtual sessions! Please contact info [at] issup [dot] net if you have any questions.

About Professor Koutsenok

Dr. Igor Koutsenok is а Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego, Director of the Center for Addiction Research, Training and Application, Director of the SAMHSA PEPFAR International Addiction Technology Transfer Center-Ukraine, and a co-director of the SAMHSA PEPFAR South East Asia Addiction Technology Transfer Center. He is also a Vice-President of the International Consortium of Universities on Drug Demand Reduction.

In 1983 he graduated as a medical doctor from the National Medical University in Kiev, (Ukraine). In 1986, he completed his psychiatry residency training and received degree as psychiatrist from the Medical University in Sofia (Bulgaria). In 1993-1996 he received a degree in addiction psychiatry at the University of London, Department of Addictive Behavior and Psychological Medicine at St. Georges Hospital Medical School. In 1996, he was recruited by the University of California San Diego, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and since then he serves as faculty member of the Department. In 2013-2016 he served as Chief of Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, United Nations Office in Vienna.

Over the last 25 years Dr. Koutsenok led the design and implementation of multiple training and technical assistance programs for mental health and addiction treatment practitioners, primary health care and social work practitioners, criminal justice professionals in the United States and around the world. He is also directing the UCSD Summer Clinical Institute - the second longest running Summer Institute in the United States (over 40 years). Dr. Koutsenok is also a member of the International Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). 

For many years, Dr. Koutsenok taught general and addiction psychiatry to medical students, psychiatry residents, psychology trainees, social workers, criminal justice professionals, and policy makers around the world. He is a recipient of numerous national and international awards. He has authored and co-authored over 50 scientific publications, one monograph, and contributed to 4 book. Dr. Koutsenok has been invited as a presenter and trainer to hundreds of conferences and workshops in the USA and more than 40 countries around the world. He is a proud father of three.

Access to Drug Treatment Services in Nigeria: The Challenge of Addiction Workforce

Event Date


Presenters: Drs. Chia Francis and Mashika Esther

This webinar will illuminate the level of drug use in Nigeria, efforts made so far to address access to drug abuse treatment services in Nigeria, and details of a study regarding access to treatment.

Thursday June 4th 2020
Time: 11 AM BST / 6 AM EDT

WEBINAR: Cary Hopkins Eyles on Authentic Self-Care for Addiction Professionals

This webinar focuses on the issue of self-care for addiction professionals and was delivered by ICUDDR Deputy Director Cary Hopkins Eyles.

Many of us are drawn to work in the field of substance use disorders due to our history, family, and personal traits, such as compassion and empathy. While these can be great assets, they can also be detrimental to us personally.

In this webinar, Cary explains how to identify healthy and unhealthy traits, how we can care for ourselves, and what authentic self-care looks like.

Cary has worked in the field of substance use disorders for 18 years. She is passionate about helping professionals in this field to take care of themselves so they can thrive and help those in need. Cary has worked in direct care in non-profit in the U.S., has run Residential, Outpatient, and Criminal Justice treatment programs, and has trained and mentored other substance use professionals. She is now the Deputy Director for the International Consortium of Universities for Drug Demand Reduction (ICUDDR) and supports the development of addiction studies programs around the world. She is a global trainer in the Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC).

Recorded on 13 March 2020

Cary Hopkins Eyles
Atef Saad Gerges Soliman

4th ISSUP Workshop, Nairobi 2018

Event Date

The 4th ISSUP Workshop will take place in Nairobi, Kenya from December 10 – 14, 2018.

This year we are partnering with the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) in Kenya and the African Union to provide access to training, information and research to those involved in the substance use prevention and treatment field.

We look forward to seeing you in Nairobi. Watch this space for more info:

Event Language


Kallista Yuliastuti

Gender Responsiveness Treatment Training in Indonesia

Kallista Yuliastuti

African Union Meeting of Drug Demand Reduction Experts, October 15-17, 2019

The African Union Commission and the Government of Mauritius are hosting a meeting of experts on drug treatment and prevention from throughout the continent.  Key topics include review of the AU’s Plan of Action on Drug Control and Crime Prevention (2019-2023), the Pan- African Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (PAENDU), and sharing best practices.

Ahmad Shah

The European Union is proud to launch the AU-EU Youth Hub Call for Proposals for € 10 million! One step more toward implementation of innovative ideas from Youth!

Ahmad Shah

16 x 16’ is a new global initiative, supported by the Government of Italy, as part of UNDP’s Youth Global Programme for Sustainable Development and Peace (Youth-GPS), to recognize and support 16 youth-led organisations, movements or networks that promote Sustainable Development Goal 16 (

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.

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).