UNODC Conducts the Training on Quality Assurance Tools for Drug Dependence Treatment for Health and Law Enforcement Professionals of Central Asia

On 22 October 2018, Tashkent, Uzbekistan - UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia jointly with the National Information-Analytical Center on Drug Control under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan (NCDC) and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan gave a kick off to the week-long regional training on UNODC-WHO Quality Assurance Tools for Drug Dependence Treatment for the specialists of the ministries of health, internal affairs, narcological and scientific centres of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

"The treatment services for people with Drug Use Disorders (DUD) need to be improved constantly. We need to shift from the purely medical to a rehabilitation-type, medical and psychological model of treatment."- said Mr. Olim Narzullaev, the Director of NCDC, in his welcoming speech. "We express the hope that the UNODC global "Treating drug dependence and its health consequences: Treatnet II" will continue providing support to the improvement of the drug dependence treatment services in the participating countries. The proposed UNODC-WHO quality standards for drug dependence treatment services will contribute to the development of national quality standards in this area."

Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia noted that "it is important to look at the health and human rights perspectives when addressing drug issues. The scientific evidences have indicated that drug use disorders are multifactorial brain disease and associated with health problems, poverty, violence, criminal behaviour, and social exclusion."

Strengthening prevention and treatment for people with DUD is an essential demand reduction strategy of significant public health importance, which is a cornerstone of the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS) outcome document, and has been specifically set as Target 3.5 of Goal 3" Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages", under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The regional training, conducted by the international experts, hosted some 28 specialists from Central Asia. It aimed to consolidate the institutional support to ensure the successful implementation of the Quality Assurance Mechanism in Central Asia while promoting the scientific understanding of quality drug dependence treatment and care services. During the five days, participants discussed issues related to the developing plans for the piloting of the assessment tools, mentoring and consolidation of future activities aimed at enhancing a quality assurance mechanism, as well as implementation of the quality improvement plan to achieve higher quality of drug treatment services.

Dr. Elizabeth Saenz, Global Project Coordinator from the Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section, UNODC HQ in Vienna noted that training on quality assurance tools for drug dependence treatment for health and law enforcement professionals of Central Asia is another step towards adaptation of the International Standards of Treatment of Drug Use Disorders developed by UNODC and WHO. "The UNODC-WHO quality assurance mechanism is one of the most promising tools of the project, already piloted in Afghanistan with very positive results. It provides the opportunity to identify gaps and challenges of the system and the services, and guides the process of change, in order to progressively improve the quality of drug treatment services.  We hope that next year, based on the outcomes of the training, the Central Asian states will be able to pilot the standards in their respective drug dependence treatment facilities."

The regional event was conducted within the framework of the TreatNet ("Treating drug dependence and its health consequences: Treatnet"), an UNODC global project, in collaboration with UNODC Programme for Central Asia. TreatNet project is the flagship project of UNODC aimed at promoting access to drug dependence treatment, care and rehabilitation services that are based on scientific evidence, through worldwide advocacy, capacity building and expansion/development of drug treatment services.

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