The problem of substance use requires a multidimensional response, says PAHO Director

The problem of substance use requires a multidimensional response, says PAHO Director

During the debate on psychoactive substance use, the Director of PAHO, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, said that addiction is a health problem whose causes and effects are complex, and she assured delegates to the 52nd Directing Council that PAHO will work to provide a multidimensional response.
Dr. Etienne noted that this topic is not usually addressed in national programs and PAHO’s work in this area has been largely carried out in conjunction with the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the Organization of American States and in the definition of a regional strategy, rather than in aspects of technical cooperation between PAHO and its Member States. However, she stated that all of these areas would be reexamined in the near future and reiterated PAHO’s commitment to providing the two reports requested by the Directing Council.

For his part, Dr. Carlos Santos-Burgoa, interim Director of the Department of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health at PAHO, said the request by Guatemala (to conduct a study of health systems capacity to address the drug problem) would receive follow-up, indicating that it might be possible that PAHO and CICAD might work together on this issue.

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