INL Director Kelia Cummins (third from right) joins partners during the launch of a new textbook on the globally recognized Universal Treatment Curriculum for substance use disorder.

The Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, in collaboration with the Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Program and the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), launched a new textbook on the globally recognized Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC) for substance use disorder on April 8.

As part of the multi-year P49.5-million ($990,000) INL-sponsored program “Enhancing Treatment and Prevention in the Philippines,” the textbook was carefully tailored for the Philippine setting, incorporating local case studies and references.

The newly designed material, according to INL director Kelia Cummins, offers a different approach to training because it “captures the local context and realities in the Philippines.”

“The goal is to promote and strengthen substance use prevention and treatment education among academic institutions and further professionalize the treatment workforce in the country,” she said in a statement.

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A total of 100 textbooks will be printed and distributed throughout the country by UTC university education providers. A virtual walkthrough training of the UTC basic courses was also conducted by 20 professors from several cooperating universities over the course of 10 days.

In discussing his experience during the training session, program participant Francis Mina said, “the 10-day virtual UTC walkthrough training not only equipped us with skills on treatment, but also refreshed our understanding and awareness of evidence-based approaches in caring for persons with substance use disorder.”

This resource material is an adaptation of the UTC’s eight-volume training series and will be used as a resource for university courses in substance use disorder in the Philippines. It covers such topics as Introduction to the Science of Addiction; Treatment for Substance Use Disorders; Common and Co-Occurring Mental and Medical Disorders; Basic Counseling Skills; Intake, Screening, Assessment, Treatment Planning and Documentation; Case Management; Crisis Intervention; and Ethics for Addiction Professionals.

Writers from Ateneo de Manila University, Ateneo de Davao University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, University of San Carlos, and the Philippines’ Professional Regulatory Board of Psychology helped draft the textbook.

Globally, INL supports the training and professionalization of the drug prevention and treatment workforce.

The funding and support for this program is part of INL’s broader drug demand reduction programming in the Philippines, designed to improve awareness, augment use of preventive measures, and engage multisectoral stakeholders in recovery and reintegration efforts for persons with substance use disorder.

Learn more about the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement and its drug demand reduction programs globally at www.state.gov/j/inl.

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