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University advancing substance use research

The Technical University of Mombasa has hosted the first ever substance use and related disorder conference.

The conference, which brought together experts and professionals in the field, was organized by TUM in partnership with the University of Minnesota, Linnaeus University in Sweden, and Health experts.

The theme of the conference, ‘Strengthening Substance Use Research and Evidence-Based Intervention’, underscored the importance of evidence-based approaches in addressing the global challenges posed by substance use disorders.

The event provided a unique platform for researchers, practitioners, and delegates to exchange ideas, insights, and best practices in the field.

The International Society of Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP) Kenya President Dr Pamela Kaithuru, a counselling psychologist, said that ISSUP is a non-government organization dedicated to the development of a professional network for substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery.

Dr. Kaithuru said that ISSUP is a central hub for information, research, events, and training in the field.

“With over 29,000 members worldwide, ISSUP has been instrumental in connecting professionals from various sectors, including research, government, and mental health organizations,” said Dr. Kaithuru.

The Kenyan chapter of ISSUP, which was established in 2016, has been working diligently to promote substance use prevention and treatment at the national level, fostering collaboration among stakeholders to advance the profession.

Dr Kaithuru said substance use disorders remained a pressing global issue, with an unmet need for effective prevention, treatment, and recovery support.

The conference also shed light on the fact that many interventions in the field lack a solid evidence base.

“The role of recovery support is often overlooked. Moreover, professionals in this sector often do not receive the recognition they deserve, resulting in a fragmented and non-collaborative approach,” said Dr Kaithuru

Dr. Kaithuru added that the mission of ISSUP is to professionalize and develop the network of substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery professionals.

She said ISSUP is dedicated to providing its members with access to high-quality, evidence-based, and proper information in the field.

“We strive to create a knowledgeable and effective professional workforce by connecting digital tools, representing national and international communities, and developing knowledge systems for evidence-based practices,” added Dr. Kaithuru.

By Jimmy Mambo and Shamim Musa

 

 

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