About the Programme
This is a regional, UWI-based on-line continuing education program in drug demand reduction, based in the UWIDEC technological platform, which will upgrade the professional qualifications of individuals working in national, regional and international efforts to prevent substance abuse in the Caribbean region and beyond.
The programme seeks to enhance the regional response to the challenges associated with substance abuse through training and the development of a lasting network of professionals in this field, thereby improving the environment and the quality of care and service for their clients and benefactors.
Substance misuse (abuse and/or dependence) is pervasive throughout the world, creating an enormous burden on health care systems. The deaths, illnesses and disabilities from substance misuse are far more than that seen from any other preventable health condition. Though all segments of society are involved, disadvantaged groups are disproportionately affected, with substance use and abuse among adolescents being of particular concern. The relationship between crime and illicit drug use increases the significance of the problem facing countries throughout the world.
Caribbean countries are located between major drug producing countries and major drug markets (North America). Caribbean islands have numerous ports around their coastlines and numerous landing strips on their coastal plains, resulting in a large number of them becoming major drug trans-shipment points between South and North America. With trans-shipment comes increased availability of illicit drugs and its associated increased incidence and prevalence of substance misuse.
Over the last two years, the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) interviewed a variety of individuals working in national drug agencies, NGOs, academic institutions, the police force, and the military institutions around the Caribbean, with the majority identifying the need for a programme to provide continuing education in substance abuse prevention and treatment. It was thought that such a programme would enhance the regional response to the challenges associated with substance abuse through training and the development of a lasting network of professionals in this field, thereby improving the environment and the quality of care and service for their clients and benefactors.
This On-line Certificate in Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment is intended to provide high quality continuing education relevant to the career needs of professionals and other individuals working in substance abuse demand reduction in the English-speaking Caribbean OAS member states and other English-speaking countries and territories. It is aimed at individuals involved and/or working in national, regional and international efforts. This includes those involved and/or working in the prevention of substance abuse, treatment of substance abusers and management of substance abuse rehabilitation facilities. This programme includes a multi-disciplinary team whose aim is to improve the standard of prevention and treatment programmes in the Caribbean, and to encourage practical exploration of and application to the working environment.
The overall goals of the programme are:
- to provide evidence-based, culturally sensitive methods of prevention, treatment and management of substance misuse
- to establish appropriate standards of care and practices, and to standardize approaches to treatment and rehabilitation
- to establish appropriate frameworks for prevention and rehabilitation in specific target groups
- to build indigenous research capacity in the area of substance misuse
- to offer opportunities for greater networking among multi-disciplinary teams
- to provide a minimum package of professional training and exposure that is meaningful and useful
- to create a virtual environment capable of disseminating knowledge at low cost and at a regional level
Through this programme, participants will:
- come to appreciate the complexity of substance misuse and its bio-psycho-social causes
- strengthen their understanding of the social and public health implications of substance misuse
- explore substance misuse within the socio-cultural context of the Caribbean
- comprehend the role of communication in substance abuse prevention, treatment and management and
- recognize and conduct appropriate interventions and referrals with persons experiencing problems with substance misuse.