Internship for healthcare professionals in treatment programs that deliver evidence-based clinical and psychosocial services.

Implementing Organization
Organization of American States [OAS]

To reinforce the clinical training of health professionals who provide treatment and recovery services to people with substance use disorders (SUD) and other health problems, a short active stay in the facilities of treatment programs that meet international quality standards will be organized. 


The health workforce gets meaningful work experiences and unique opportunities to boost their career path from internship programs hosted by institutions and agencies that operate through multidisciplinary teams of public health, behavioral, social sciences, and other professional areas. Interns can obtain practical experience through projects, special assignments, and being involved in research that supports national, local, and community-based programs, policies, and best practices in preventing and treating substance abuse and mental illness. 

Accomplishments to Date

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, CICAD hosted internship programs, which currently are on hold. Implementing this initiative would be an excellent opportunity to resume internships, nowadays in a remote modality. 

Project Activities
  1. In conjunction with CICAD, drug commissions, health authorities, agencies that provide clinical and psychosocial services, universities, and educational institutions that offer clinical services, such as university hospitals, will define the eligibility criteria for internship participants.  
  2. Countries will identify eligible internship candidates within the health workforce that provide clinical and psychosocial services to people with substance use disorders due to illicit synthetic drugs. 
  3. CICAD will coordinate a committee that will identify projects, special assignments, and research topics relevant to the implementation of the internship. 
  4. The internship committee will foster linking the internship outcome with identified needs in countries and facilitate the publication and dissemination of the results. 
  5. The internship participants will form a global network and commit to participating actively in dissemination activities like clinical discussions, presenting research findings, supporting teaching and training, etc. 
  6. Based on the internship participants' performance, the committee will select suitable candidates for operating mentoring programs for future internship participants. 
Global Level Outcomes

This initiative will strengthen the workforce's capacity to address substance use disorders, adapting best practices from worldwide references to a local level. 

National Level Outcomes

Internship participants will take part in specialized activities centered on tackling substance use disorders due to illegal synthetic drugs. 

Current State Participants

This initiative is not currently being implemented. 


JoseLuis Vazquez-Martínez Senior Program Officer Demand Reduction Unit Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) Organization of American States (OAS) E-mail: JVazquez [at] oas [dot] org (JVazquez[at]oas[dot]org)