Islamic Republic of Iran


Training of Practitioners Workshop on Treatnet Family


The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Iran in cooperation with the Iranian Drug Control Headquarters (DCHQ) initiated the pilot programme of TreatNet Family Therapy in Iran. The programme started with the training of practitioners workshop on “Treatnet Family: Elements of Family Based Treatment for Youths with Drug Use Disorders including in Contact with the Criminal Justice System: Creating Societies Resilient to Drugs and Crime” on 3rd January 2022 and will continue for 6 sessions until 12th January 2022, through a virtual platform.

The purpose of the training of practitioners is to scale up the Treatnet Family programme globally, including in the Islamic Republic of Iran in collaboration with the national counterparts to explore its further findings for the treatment of adolescent substance use disorder. Moreover, Government agencies, academic institutions and drug dependence treatment service providers will play a prominent role in knowledge transfer and the implementation of evidence-based practices. Trainers and experts participating in the workshop will be expected to provide feedback from their practices of Treatnet Family Skills in clinical settings and contribute to the dissemination of Treatnet Family further in the future. The training would increase the capacity building of selected professionals working with youths with drug use disorders and their families on Treatnet Family training package; allow free discussion on daily challenges in the provision of drug treatment and agree on a follow-up approach of dissemination of Treatnet Family as part of the Treatnet training package and other relevant materials; and would establish follow-up mechanisms for mentoring and feedback collections from daily Treatnet Family skill application and practices.



The training workshop was opened by Dr. Mahmood Aligoo, Director General, Office of Socially Harmed, State Welfare Organization, Dr. Ghasemzadeh, Expert of Deputy of Treatment of Ministry of Health and Medical Education as well as Mr. Kaveh Moradi, Officer-in-Charge of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Iran. Both representatives from the national counterparts emphasized the prominent role of the ‘family’ as a preventive model that shapes the behaviour of an adolescent. Dr. Aligoo also emphasized the need for a psychosocial intervention that is required when addressing adolescent substance abuse. Mr. Moradi added that while fortunately, the number of young people with drug use disorders is small, the mere exitance of such phenomenon calls for the highest levels of vigilance and mobilisation of all available resources for addressing the issue. He further referred to the new initiatives launched by the Government of Iran to tackle the issue of drug use among children and adolescents, like for example launching of the drug treatment protocol for children and adolescents, and believed that the addition of Treatnet Family programme would diversify the existing menu of services to young adolescents. 

Subjects covered during this training workshop were, “What is Family Therapy & Engaging Family Members in Interventions?,” with a view on the cultural context; Spectrum of substance use and substance use disorders; Systems Thinking, Family Therapy Core Strategies, Family Therapy Phases and Interventions, Engagement and Assessment; Creating a Motivational Context for Change; and Useful Skills & Problem Solving, and Feedback and data collection. During the final session of the workshop, Iranian participants will discuss the Treatment of Drug Use Disorders in Children in Iran as well as Developing Plans of Action for the Piloting Treatment Family.

The training of practitioners is designed to be skills-oriented and therefore intended to be very interactive and experiential. At the beginning of the training, participants completed a pre-test to assess what they know and will again complete a post-test to assess what they learned during the training workshop. The present activity is a part of a UN joint programme signed by UNICEF, UNODC, UNDP, WHO and UNFPA in 2020 with the financial support of the EU’s Directorate-General for the International Partnerships (DG INTPA) to respond to emerging needs and enhance the resilience of the most vulnerable, especially children, youth, and women in Iran. Under output #1, the main objective of the UNICEF, UNODC and WHO three-year joint project is protecting children and youth from the harms of drugs.