Al-Maqdese for Society Development





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 April 2012   

Advocacy Al-Maqdese Social Department :  Al-Maqdese participates in a regional workshop on opioid substitution treatment Jerusalem   

Al-Maqdese delegation from the Rehabilitation Department participated in a regional workshop titled “training of trainers on opioid substitution treatment”, which was held from 16-14th of April in Beirut; 12 Arab countries participated in the event. The workshop was implemented and supervised by SIDC and MENAHRA, under the auspicious of the Lebanese Ministry of Health. The workshop is one of a series of workshops which aim at building capacities of the experts on implementing harm reduction strategies.
Several countries started to implement the harm reduction strategy. It is a set of legislative policies and programs which aim at reducing health, social and economic harms of drug abuse, which has proven its feasibility in all countries where applied. It is based on human rights, as the addict is a human who has the right to maintain his health; not a criminal but an ill person who needs health care.
The workshop covered one of the pillars of this strategy, which is the opioid substitution treatment, an alternative treatment using opiates. Despite the fact that there has been a lot of efforts and financial and human resources used in the conventional rehabilitation and treatment centers, failure of these efforts were identified to achieve quality results in their treatment. Many of the addicts who got treatment has relapses, even when they have long term treatments and have committed to treatment; which results in the disappointment of their families and also the treatment staff who has worked hard on their treatment.
Al-Maqdese was represented by the head of Social Department, Isam Jweihan and the field work officer, Osama Abu Arram. Al-Maqdese is implementing some components of this strategy in a project implemented since two years from now, in cooperation with the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior, funded by the UNODC.
The workshop also covered a comprehensive and detailed presentation of the alternative treatment program, its different types, application, results and effectiveness on the individuals, the family and the society as a whole, as well as the advocacy mechanisms and related obstacles.
The opioid substitution treatment is considered an effective way in treatment rehabilitation and engagement of opioid addicts. It ensures improvement of their life conditions and reduces the spread of epidemic diseases such as AIDS, and reduces crimes and overdoses. This step would be a mechanism provided for the addict to stop drug abuse completely.
It is important to mention that the participants in the workshop were able to have open discussions and exchange experiences in the different countries in harm reduction programs.

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