Drugs Demand Reduction

Comprehensive approach to the prevention and reduction of the adverse consequences of drug use in populations in situation of high vulnerability: a public health strategy

Drugs Demand Reduction

Comprehensive approach to the prevention and reduction of the adverse consequences of drug use in populations in situation of high vulnerability: a public health strategy


This course addresses from a holistic, public health perspective, the assistance to people with problematic drug use, with emphasis on groups that are in conditions of vulnerability from a sanitary and social point of view and interventions aimed at mitigating the adverse consequences of consumption, especially community-based ones.

Addressed to

Public sector professionals with responsibilities in planning, decision making and service management, and comprehensive care programs for problematic drug users.

Description of topics

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Operative Dimension

C2 - Drugs Demand Reduction
Execution Level

At the end of the course, the participants will be able to:

  • Know the basic elements to implement strategies with proven effectiveness in the reduction of the adverse consequences of drug use and the fundamental characteristics of care programmes, with emphasis on approaching population groups in high vulnerability, in contexts of exclusion or difficult access to services.
  • Know different strategies of organization and management of the health and social assistance services, for a comprehensive approach to problematic drug users.
  • Include within these health strategies, plans and programmes for the management of problematic drug use, those components oriented to the reduction of stigma, as well as the community-based care services, to reduce their public health and social impact.
  • Recognize, based on the scientific evidence, the effectiveness of harm reduction programmes for populations with specific needs, especially for the groups in a situation of social vulnerability and health.
  • Recognize the current challenges and the possible directions of policies, plans and programmes available to CELAC countries to reduce the burden of disease attributable to problematic drug use in the region.

To respond to the stated objectives in the development of this course, the COPOLAD programme adopts a multidisciplinary model, both in the focus of the contents, and in the selection of teachers.

The syllabus is articulated through a theoretical-practical, integrative and dynamic working method, that facilitates the acquisition of the knowledge needed to achieve the objectives raised.

Associated operational objectives

0.2 - Have adequate baseline information to: provide specificity to the contents and the actions planned in each component; meet initial expectations of each partner in relation to its participation in COPOLAD; and facilitate the programme evaluation.
2.1 - Assess existing needs in DDR, to define specific final contents of foreseen activities under Component 2, adjusting them according to different groups of countries.
2.5 - Expand the sustainable capacity-building approach initiated in C1, by broadening its coverage, as well as the number of subjects addressed.


Expanded the sustainable capacity building approach initiated in COPOLAD I, by: a) reviewed and up-dated 2 courses developed in COPOLAD I; b) developed 2 new on-line courses; c) enlarged coverage, at least by 50% (from baseline situation achieved in COPOLAD I), through the implementation of both, international and national editions of each course

Related activities

  • 2.5 - Further expansion of the capacity-building strategy in DDR

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    • 2.5.1 - The use of alcohol and other drugs: Evidence-based prevention

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    • 2.5.2 - Comprehensive and Integrated Drug Related Socio-Sanitary System at the Primary Care

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    • 2.5.3 - Public Health approach to drugs policies

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    • 2.5.5 - National Editions of the Online Courses in CELAC countries

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