Findings from treatment facility survey (EFSQ) in Lebanon’
Introduction: In Lebanon, individual institutions are very active in the field of substance use prevention and treatment. Yet, evidence from literature reflects a growing trend for substance use problems which necessitates a higher intervention level. A treatment facility survey, using the European Facility Survey Questionnaire (EFSQ) by the EMCDDA, was implemented to examine treatment systems in order to identify responses to drug-related challenges.
Method: The facility survey was conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health in Lebanon. Arabic and French versions were translated, pretested and verified from the original survey tool. All versions were sent by email to facilities providing treatment for substance use.
Results: 15 facilities responded to the EFSQ. The majority of the responding facilities were providing outpatients treatment services representing 86.7% of the total sample. Main substances for which treatment was sought were heroin (38%) and cannabis (15%). Approximately, 40% of the treatment facilities provide services seven days a week and 12 out of 15 treatment facilities reported providing OMT services to clients, however, few units were providing HIV, HBV and HCV vaccines. In addition, few facilities reported having a structured mechanism for overdose management and prevention including take home naloxone. All participating units were affected by the COVID-19 pandemics.
Discussion: Findings of this surveys provide additional insight into the needs and challenges faced in the field of substance use and service provision in Lebanon. The information gathered within this survey together with other information is crucial for the overall planning, assessing intervention needs and supporting investment decisions.