Building a professional workforce for drug demand reduction
Drug Demand Reduction has become internationally acknowledged as the area of focus for addressing substance use disorders within a public health context. The growth of the science related to effective, high quality and ethical prevention, treatment and recovery support has revealed a need to build a trained and professional workforce able to implement appropriate interventions. Given the multi-disciplinary nature of those involved as members of a drug demand reduction workforce, along with the different levels of needs to be addressed in a broad range of settings, it has become evident that there should be a focus on the establishment of a professional workforce. This workforce should be able to access relevant information, training and support to be in a position to undertake the drug demand reduction aspect of their role within their work setting based on professional training and support. This building of a professional workforce for drug demand reduction is an international need if there is to be an appropriate and effective outcome of a reduction of numbers of people with substance use disorders. It requires a professional approach from a professional workforce in order to address a major public health issue in line with the way all other major health issues are addressed. The challenge remains of how to raise awareness of this need and impact change at policy and practice levels. There is also the need to provide access to how interested parties and those engaged with the drug demand reduction issue can access routes to build their professional skills and competencies.
This special session will address how an international drug demand reduction professional workforce can become a reality.