Borikhan Shaumarov

UNODC strengthened workforce capacity on community-based social services for youth at risk and their families in Turkmenistan

Shared by Borikhan Shaumarov - 5 May 2021
Originally posted by Borikhan Shaumarov - 5 May 2021

UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia together with the UNODC Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section (PTRS), hosted a training for practitioners on "Treatnet Family" for youth with drug use disorders including those in contact or at risk of contact with the criminal justice system. The event was held in a hybrid format in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan from 12-16 April 2021 and 27 local service providers working with youth and their families from drug treatment centres, juvenile facilities, and NGOs, participated. The training aimed to prepare social service providers to pilot community-based social services for youth at risk and their families. While the very focus of the training was to build capacity of social workers and disseminate evidence-based training materials to also benefit families in resource-limited settings, this initiative at the same time contributed towards the creation of societies more resilient to drugs and crime – starting at the community level.

Ms. Anja Busse, PTRS Programme Officer at UNODC HQ stated at the opening of the event that “The teenage years are a critical window of vulnerability to substance use disorders, because the young person’s brain is still developing, and some brain areas are less mature than others. Many factors influence whether an adolescent tries drugs, including the availability of drugs within the neighbourhood, community, and school and whether the adolescent’s friends are using them. The family environment is also important: adverse childhood experiences such as violence, physical or emotional abuse, mental illness, or drug use in the household increase the likelihood an adolescent will use drugs.”

This activity was implemented under Sub-Programme 3: Prevention, Treatment, Reintegration and Prevention of HIV of the UNODC Program for Central Asia 2015-2021.

UNODC has originally developed the "Treatnet Family" training materials thanks to the support of the Government of Japan.