ISLAMABAD, Jan 29 (APP):United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on Tuesday launched a pilot training programme
in Pakistan on drug use prevention in line with Universal Prevention Curriculum (UPC).
The programme has been launched in collaboration with Ministry of Narcotics Control.
Addressing a ceremony here, Secretary Narcotics Control, Arif Nawaz Khan said drug prevention and drug dependence treatment needs collective action from government, private, and non-governmental organizations.
He said preventing drug use before it begins is the most cost-effective, common-sense approach to promoting safe and healthy communities.
Young people deserve every opportunity to live up to their
full potential, he said and added, therefore exposure to scientific
and evidence-based drug prevention interventions increases their
chances of refraining from drug use.
The Secretary said successful prevention strategies also
incorporate the cultural, gender, and age-specific needs of
people who are vulnerable to drug use.
Prevention efforts must address all stages of life –
from infancy to adulthood, he added.
In his remarks, Country Representative UNODC, Cesar
Guedes said putting science into practice, with a special focus
on capacity building for delivery of evidence-based drug treatment
and prevention services in Pakistan through the implementation of
Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC) and the Universal Prevention
Curriculum (UPC) training strategy, will remain prime for UNODC.
On the occasion, Dr. Manzoor ul Haq, Advisor on Drug Demand
Reduction, Treatment, and Prevention said a total of 9 UTC
curricula were conducted for 100 professionals and that three
UPC curricula would be piloted in Pakistan and completed in five
months time in Islamabad.
It was informed that current UTC and UPC trainings
comprise a two years project and is supported by US State Department’s
Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).
In addition, a closing ceremony was also held for
training program of 100 drug treatment professionals from across
Pakistan which was commenced in August 2018 on Universal Treatment
On UPC, around 20 professionals from education, health,
media, and non-governmental organizations will be trained
as master trainers on drug prevention who will then cascade
trainings in their respective specialities and regions, on how to
plan and coordinate drug prevention programmes.
On UTC, as noted above around 100 drug treatment
professionals: doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social
workers from four provinces and AJK participated in
training. The training comprised nine courses on drug treatment
in previous six months at Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad.
The trainers for these trainings were International Certified Addiction Professionals
(ICAP) including doctors, psychologists, and
sociologists, working in Pakistan in both government and private
It is mentioned here that since 2010, the Department of
State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
(INL) has been supporting development of global training series
appropriate for certification of addiction professionals in
South Asian region.
The overall goal of the UTC training series
is to reduce significant health, social, and economic problems
associated with Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) by building
international treatment capacity through training, professionalizing,
and expanding global treatment workforce. The training prepares
counsellors and other health providers for professional certification
at the entry level, by providing the latest information on SUDs and their treatment.