National Round Table Discussion on application of new methods and tools of drug use disorders diagnostics and treatment in Uzbekistan

On 25 March 2022 the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia held a National Round Table Discussion on application of new methods and tools of drug use disorders’ diagnostics and treatment in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The meeting was attended by the officials of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan and specialists of the narcology system, as well as representatives of other stakeholders that are involved in the process of organizing the narcological services. The main goal of the meeting was to present the results of piloting international quality assurance (QA) tools and the UNODC-WHO facility survey  of existing and potential services for the treatment of drug use disorders as well as to discuss possible mechanisms to introduce them into country’s national narcology system.

The event brought together 20 specialists from Tashkent in person and 30 specialists from all regions of Uzbekistan via video conference.

Following the launch of UNODC-WHO International Standards for Treatment of Drug Use Disorders and the approval of resolution 59/4 by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs  which calls for the development and dissemination of International Standards for Treatment of Drug Use Disorders and urges UNODC to support a systematic process of national adaptation and the adoption of national QA standards for the accreditation of services in accordance with national legislation, the need for new globally applicable tools based on an agreed dissemination strategy was proposed in order to ensure a qualified and effective response to treatment of drug use disorders around the world. The development of such quality standards on drug dependence treatment services is necessary to evaluate good practice informed by science and ethical principles. The quality standards also help to guarantee the same quality standards and opportunities for drug-dependent people that are provided by the health system for any other chronic disease.

The UNODC-WHO facility survey is a tool designed to support governments in the collection of information from substance use treatment providers for better understanding and planning the treatment capacity. Specifically, it provides information on the scope of treatment services provided; consolidates data on the number of treatment clients, available human resources, and the facilities’ structural resources.

Meeting started with presentation of the results of implementation of a QA mechanism and mapping of drug treatment services in Central Asia made by Mr. Borikhan Shaumarov, Senior Programme Officer of UNODC ROCA.  

Next presentations delivered by National Experts were devoted to the results of piloting international QA tools for drug treatment services and the results of research of mapping existing and potential drug dependency treatment services in Uzbekistan. 

These presentations were followed by the discussion on possible mechanisms of incorporating piloted tools for the diagnostics and the treatment of drug use disorders into national system of drug treatment services. It was agreed by the parties to continue the work on ensuring sustainability of piloted tools in the Republic of Uzbekistan.   

In the course of the meeting, the participants were also informed on the concept of the National study on the prevalence and new trends in drug use in the Republic of Uzbekistan initiated in the country by UNODC ROCA.

The round table discussion was organized within the framework of UNODC global project GLOJ71 “Treating drug dependence and its health consequences: Treatnet II” in collaboration with Sub-Programme 3: Addressing drug problems, increasing treatment of drug use disorders and preventing HIV/AIDS” of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia for 2022-2025 and Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section, UNODC HQ with the financial support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.