Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

UNODC convenes a three-day Regional in-service Training of Trainers (TOT) workshop on "Diagnosis and Treatment of Opioids Overdose, and Withdrawal"

27-29 August 2019- Tehran.

In recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day, 31 August, the UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries, convened a three-day Regional in-service Training of Trainers (TOT) workshop on "Diagnosis and Treatment of Opioids Overdose, and Withdrawal" in Loghman Hakim Hospital, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.

The event was convened in close collaboration with the UNODC Global Programme (  Drug Dependence Treatment and Care, GLOK32 Project) and UNODC Country Office in Iran with full support of Drug Control Headquarters of the Islamic Republic or Iran. The aim of the workshop was to scale up overdose prevention efforts in the region and ensure that emergency room interventions for acute drug intoxication and overdose cases in hospitals as well as in community settings are available and accessible to people who use drugs in the regional programme member countries including, Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

During the opening ceremony, attended by a number of high ranking officials including Iran's Drug Control Headquarters, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, the UNODC Country Office, and 16 international and regional professionals, the UNODC Iran Country Office Representative Mr. Alexander Fedulov welcomed the participants, stating that:

"By participating in this regional workshop, we wish to join all national and international communities to remember all thousands of people die each year from drug overdose and also we wish to join all national and international communities to combat this humanitarian crisis through training potential first responders in overdose management to set up evidence-based overdose prevention and treatment programmes in the regional countries."

The workshop was also successful to establish a forum for exchange of best practices and experiences in overdose management at the regional level. Three international and national trainers; Professor. Bruno Megarbane from Paris Diderot University, Dr. Rebecca McDonald from King's College London and Dr. Hossein Hassanian-Moghadam from Iran Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science, covered issues pertaining to toxicokinetics, clinical effects, and laboratory interpretation. Dr. Rebecca McDonald specifically discussed the UNODC-WHO Stop-Overdose-Safely (S-O-S ) initiative and Implementation Protocol on community management of opioid overdose.

During the workshop, regional participants had the opportunity to visit the toxicological ICU, men's poisoning ward, women's poisoning ward and the children's ward of Loghman Hakim hospital. The participants were trained on how to treat opioid overdose patients in different wards based on their specific needs.

Thanks to the Government of Finland for supporting the activity.