Reducing the demand for illicit drugs and other substances of abuse means discouraging and preventing initial use of drugs, intervening early with occasional or non-dependent drug users, and treating the negative health and social consequences of dependency through treatment, rehabilitation and aftercare programs. For several years, CICAD's Demand Reduction Program has given priority to the education and training of a professional cadre of individuals who manage prevention programs and deliver treatment services in the member states.
Recent research and key sources of information, such as the the Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM) and the Inter-American Drug Observatory (OID), indicate that substance abuse is rising in many member states; drugs, such as Ecstasy and heroin, are appearing in areas previously unaffected, and the misuse of prescription drugs is a serious problem. Facing these new challenges, CICAD agreed at its thirty-first regular session that comprehensive drug abuse prevention and treatment programs should deal with all substances of abuse, both licit and illicit, in the general context of a credible public health approach. The Commission further recommended that these programs place more emphasis on the relationship between HIV/AIDS, sexually-transmitted diseases and substance abuse. CICAD's demand reduction programs are addressing these new needs in their support to both national and local governments, and well-established and qualified civil society organizations that provide local community-level services in prevention and treatment.
During 2012, the Demand Reduction Section, through its Training and Certification Program (PROCCER), trained more than 800 counselors from 166 government and non-government organization that provide direct services in addiction care in five countries in Central America, in coordination with the national drug commissions and prestigious universities.
In El Salvador in July, the program certified the first class of 96
socio-therapeutic operators in addictions, recognized by the Salvadoran State,
an event that marked a milestone in human resources certification in treatment
and rehabilitation of addictions throughout the Hemisphere.
In Mexico, PROCCER trained 600 addictions counselors in six Mexican states (Baja California, Campeche, Chihuahua, Federal District, State of Mexico and Jalisco) as part of a pilot phase. An Evaluation Commission was getting underway and will establish the certification process for trainees, according to state and federal regulations.
As part of a continuing education program, the Latin American Federation of Therapeutic Communities (FLACT) trained 354 people from eight countries. In four Central American countries, it trained 80 people through its basic and intermediate courses.
PROCCER expanded the program to include the issue of prevention, at the request of Member States. Fourteen Caribbean countries outlined a regional design for training and certifying specialists in prevention and treatment. It published the first Caribbean directory of government institutions, non-profit organizations and clinics working on drug prevention and treatment.
The University Partnership Program organized a meeting of 80 universities from across the Americas, in which they addressed the drug problem in their countries and how they adapted their curricula and research to address the problem.
updated on 5/14/2014 8:24:41 PM