Press Release

UNODC Regional Capacity Building and Research Centre conducts virtual training on treatment of stimulants use disorders for Afghan professionals.

25 November 2020

  • 22 November 2020 - Supported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Iranian National Centre for Addiction Studies (INCAS) in its capacity as the "Regional Capacity Building and Research Centre” has launched a training on the treatment of Amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) use disorders for Afghan professionals.

This activity is a collaboration among UNODC Country Offices in the Islamic Republic in Iran and Afghanistan, the UNODC Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section (PTRS), the Iranian Drug Control Headquarters, the Afghan Ministry for Public Health (MoPH) and the Regional Centre. The present training is based on an eLearning training package developed by the regional center thanks to the Japan supplementary funding to UNODC 2019-2020. The training had been originally planned to take place in persons and by travelling to Iran, but had to be redesigned due to the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent travel restrictions. Participants of the training are drug use treatment professionals from Kabul, Balkh, Herat, Kandahar, Farah, Ghor, Nangarhar and Daykundi.  

In the opening ceremony Mr. Alexander Fedulov, UNODC Iran Country Representative, emphasized on the importance of specialized treatment for people with ATS misuse disorders. He stated: “Despite the high prevalence, individuals with psychostimulant use disorders around the world are provided with minimal or non-existent contact with health and social institutions. In many countries, treatment services for substance use disorders have been designed for treatment of opioid and alcohol dependence and are not tailored for stimulants dependence”. Mr. Fedulov has thanked Iranian authorities for support in facilitation of the training session for their colleagues from Afghanistan”.

Dr Sayed Jawed Badakhsh, National Drug Demand Reduction Programme Director in the
Ministry of Public Health, Afghanistan, was the next speaker welcoming the participants to the training. He mentioned that the use of ATS has been sharply increasing in Afghanistan since 2015 and welcomed the present meeting as one of the absolutely important needs of the treatment system of drug use disorders in this country.

Dr. Reza Toyserkan-Manesh Director General of Treatment and Social Support in the Iranian Drug Control Headquarters (DCHQ) expressed his gratitude on the present training taking place on the important topic of ATS use disorders treatment and he praised the good cooperation between Iranian and Afghan professionals for their readiness for knowledge sharing and exchange of experiences between the two neighbouring countries with close background and culture.

Following the opening session Dr Afarin Rahimi-Movaghar gave a lecture on the basics of ATS use, its epidemiology, complications and burden of use. Her lecture was accompanied by case presentations in the form of audio-visuals for easing the learning process. Subsequently, a virtual site visit of the Iranian National Centre was conducted in the form of video, which introduced various sections of the centre and the research and treatment activities provided. The training is taking place over a period of 8 half day sessions and will include many important topics in the treatment of ATS use disorders such as: psychosocial interventions, psychiatric comorbidities, coping with triggers and management of lapses, toxicity, group and family interventions and prevention of HIV.   

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UNODC Regional Capacity Building and Research Centre conducts virtual training on treatment of stimulants use disorders for Afghan professionals.

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