A 10-day in-service training workshop on “drug dependence treatment and rehabilitation” was organized and held in Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran on 7-16 May 2018. The in-service training workshop was convened in close collaboration among the UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and neighboring countries, UNODC Iran, and Drug Control Headquarter (DCHQ) of the Islamic Republic of Iran and was implemented by the School of Behavioral Science and Mental Health (Tehran Institute of Psychiatry), Iran University of Medical Science.
In 2016, the first cycle of the training was held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran with the presence of 10 Afghan drug dependence treatment professionals. It was highly acknowledged by the policy makers and professionals in Afghanistan and there was additional request for more drug dependence treatment trainings to be held for more drug treatment professionals in the region. In light of this, the 2nd cycle of the training workshop was planned and held with the aim to strengthen the capacity of drug treatment professionals and share the best practices in drug dependence treatment at regional level wishing that it would lead to a better social protection and auxiliary health services for vulnerable segments of the population.
In the opening statement Mr. Parviz Afshar, DCHQ Director General of Drug Demand Reduction and Public Participation Office, noted that this joint programme with UNODC is a prime importance for DCHQ. He underlined that Iranian experts are ready to technically assist the Farsi speaking neighboring professionals to develop evidence-based drug dependence treatment plans and interventions.
At the opening ceremony, Mr. Alexander Fedulov, the UNODC Iran Country Representative, extended special thanks to the Iranian authorities for supporting joint events between the UNODC Regional Programme and the Drug Control Headquarters, Iran University of Medical Science and Social Welfare Organization as the executive bodies of this training workshop planned for Farsi speaking drug treatment professionals in the region. He also invited the Afghan and Tajik professionals to assist UNODC in achieving the planned objectives through sharing the knowledge and best practices with their Iranian professional partners working in the area of drug dependence treatment.
The training comprised of theoretical and practical components in the format of a supervised internship in well-established drug treatment facilities of Social Welfare Organization and selected national NGOs. In line with this, the participants were trained under supervision of 20 Iranian drug dependence treatment professionals in a range from the Tehran Institute of Psychiatry to treatment, rehabilitation and empowerment centers in Tehran and Isfahan, namely, Omid Therapeutic Community (TC), Drop-in-Center (DIC), Baharan Empowerment Resource Center (ERC), Shokoofehaye Beheshti Children Recovery and Rehabilitation Center (RRC), Khane doost Yaran RRC, Mehre-mother RRC, Baharan ERC and Congress 60 NGO. Professionals of the centers shared treatment methodologies, experiences and challenges with the international participants. Afghan and Tajik professionals were quite impressed with treatment facilities in particular with Omid Therapeutic Community in Isfahan and noted: “we will encourage the drug dependence treatment policy makers in Afghanistan and Tajikistan to establish comprehensive rehabilitation centers similar to what we visited in Islamic Republic of Iran”.
The programme was generously supported by the Government of Islamic Republic of Iran and funded by the European Union through the UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and neighboring countries.
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