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Global public health objectives need to address substance abuse in developing countries
Date:8/14/2014

Candidate, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, identified 30 relevant studies published in 1994 or later. The treatment methods included pharmacological approaches, intervention studies to prevent, detect, and reduce harm, the AA-style or Minnesota/Therapeutic Community Model, and multimodal approaches. Two studies compared treatment approaches between two different countries: China with Germany, and El Salvador with Puerto Rico. Other studies looked at access to treatment and resources for providers.

"An important finding is that what works well in one setting may not work well in another," notes Salwan. "Existing research highlights the need to provide secular alternatives to the dominant faith-based treatment approach in El Salvador, to improve access to harm reduction programs for crack cocaine users in Brazil, and to ensure the availability of safe havens for recovering addicts in China to avoid being treated as criminals."

Although comprehensive overviews of treatment models were markedly absent from the literature surveyed, the studies highlight specific areas of need within developing countries, building on existing awareness of general barriers to treatment in those countries. "Policymakers can use this information to design programs that meet known population needs and avoid providing extraneous services," adds Katz.

The investigators recommend that future research should blend inquiry with practice. "Although further investigation is clearly needed in order to better understand the specific needs of developing world populations, assisting those populations should be a primary goal of all endeavors. Conversely, service-oriented planning for addressing SUD in the developing world should be done with a mandate to study the effect of interventions in order to establish program efficacy," comments Katz.

Finally, the authors suggest further evaluation of the AA model. There were mixed results in the literature regardi
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Contact: Eileen Leahy
e.leahy@elsevier.com
732-238-3628
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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