SAMHSA Awards Grant to UCLA for Substance Abuse Services in Iraq
SAMHSA, in collaboration with the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, has awarded UCLA with a $770,000 grant to support the Iraqi Ministry of Health in establishing a sustainable and functional Center of Excellence on Substance Abuse Services at Baghdad’s Medical City Complex. The project seeks to strengthen substance use disorder treatment and prevention capacity in Iraq.
Funds will be used by UCLA to develop training programs and technical assistance in Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) intervention as well as medication strategies and organizational and supervisory responsibilities. Along with UCLA’s Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, the project’s subcontracted organizations, such as Cairo University, SKOUN Lebanese Addictions Center, and Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia, will train a core group of Iraqi medical professionals who will disseminate the clinical and research expertise into substance use disorder service systems throughout Iraq.
The provision of educational materials and training services will be congruent with Iraqi culture, and cultural sensitivity will be maintained to enhance implementation of clinical expertise throughout the course of the project. In addition, a Community Epidemiology Workgroup will be established to monitor drug trends in Iraq.
According to SAMHSA Administrator Pam Hyde, “(T)his initiative builds on work begun as part of the 2010 Iraq-SAMHSA Initiative, which supported a team of behavioral health professionals from the Government of Iraq who visited substance abuse sites in the U.S. to learn about substance abuse services and training. We are hopeful that this effort will lead to reductions in both demand for drugs and drug-related crime in Iraq.”
For additional information about SAMHSA and its programs, visit http://www.samhsa.gov/.