Enhancing National and Global Capacities to Address Substance Use Disorders Among Adolescents

Implementing Organization
Organization of American States [OAS]
Description

This initiative will provide capacity building and training for professionals working with adolescents with substance use disorders.  Also, will work with regional and global experts to develop and implement guidelines and best practices for providing treatment for adolescents with SUDs at the national and local levels. Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) among adolescents poses unique challenges for nations and for the service providers tasked with overseeing SUD treatment and recovery programs.  The Curriculum for Treating Adolescents with Substance Use Disorders was developed by CICAD by OAS/CICAD to build the capacities of drug prevention and treatment professionals who work with adolescents made vulnerable to substance use. This evidence-based curriculum introduces an approach to the treatment of adolescent substance use and presents the main factors that put youth at higher risk and vulnerability than other age groups.  
Due to variations in developmental and emotional growth between adolescents and adults, the intricate needs of this demographic significantly differ from those of the conventional adult treatment population. Addressing these unique challenges requires specialized expertise and tailored guidance to optimize the effectiveness of SUD treatment and recovery programs specifically designed for adolescents. 

Background

Though its Executive Secretariat, CICAD works to support member states build their capacity and develop evidence-based policies and programs that address the complex social, economic, and public health issues related to drug use. By promoting a comprehensive and evidence-based approach, CICAD aims to help member states reduce the harms associated with drug use and promote the health and well-being of individuals and communities throughout the Americas. 
Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission  
Curriculum on the treatment of adolescents with substance use disorders  

Accomplishments to Date

Over 250 professionals trained worldwide. 

Project Activities
  1. Training in the Curriculum for Treating Adolescents with Substance Use Disorders:  
    This six-module program provides adolescent treatment professionals with tools to identify, assess, and treat adolescents through individual, family, and community interventions. The curriculum is comprised of six modules which can be delivered over the course of 5 days: 
    • Module 1: Adolescent development and substance use  
    • Module 2: Youth Made Vulnerable to Substance Youth  
    • Module 3: Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care 
    • Module 4: Screening and assessment  
    • Module 5: Adolescent and Family Interventions 
    • Module 6: Community Interventions 

There are 2 modalities of training available: 

  1. Training of trainers  
  2. Training of professionals working with adolescents with SUDs

Recommended Participant’s Profile: 

  • Have at least 2 years of experience working in the area of adolescents’ drug use treatment. 
  • Be currently working with adolescents with substance use disorders. 
    The training curriculum is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese. 
  1. Development and technical assistance for the implementation of guidelines and recommendations for providing treatment for adolescents with SUDs at the national and local levels. 
    This crucial phase focuses on crafting comprehensive guidelines and facilitating technical assistance to ensure the effective provision of treatment for adolescents with substance use disorders (SUDs) at both national and local levels. The objectives and activities within this component include: 
    1. Guideline Development: Collaborate with national, regional, and global experts to develop tailored guidelines for adolescent SUD treatment.   
    2. National and Local Customization: Tailor the guidelines to align with national policies, regulations, and healthcare frameworks to ensure seamless integration into existing systems. 
    3. Technical Assistance: Establish a technical assistance program to support professionals, treatment centers, and local agencies in implementing the developed guidelines. 
    4. Monitoring and Feedback Mechanism: Implement a robust monitoring and evaluation system to track the adoption and impact of the guidelines. 
Global Level Outcomes

Improved global training packages pertaining to the Treatment of Adolescents with SUDs. 
Improved global guidelines and best practices for providing treatment to adolescents with SUDs. 

National Level Outcomes

Improved knowledge and skills of professionals working with adolescents with SUDs.  
Improved evidence-based practices for addressing SUDs in adolescents. 

Current State Participants: 
OAS Member States 

Contact

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