Cuba Reinforces Mechanisms for the Prevention of Addictions
The country is developing a season to mark the International Day of the Fight against the Abuse and Illicit Trafficking of Drugs
2008-06-30 | 11:07:32 EST
Cuba is carrying out a group of actions to reinforce, within the community, the mechanisms for the prevention of addictions, and related health promotion and education.
On Thursday June 26, International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, special activities are taking place that include mental health promotion activities in some 200 locations that will continue through July 10.
The actions are fundamentally designed for high-risk groups and vulnerable people and include the involvement of the Neighbourhood Committees; the Federation of Cuban Women; the Sports, Physical Education and Recreation Institute and the Ministries of Culture and Education.
In statements to AIN, Dr. Carmen Borrego Calzadilla, national coordinator of Mental Health and Addictions of the Ministry of Public Health, highlighted that the objective is to modify the lifestyles of the communities and, in cases that are identified, to achieve the reintegration of those individuals with the appropriate attention.
As part of the effort a national anti-drug, free of charge confidential help line is being promoted, with 24 hour access by dialling 103, said Borrego.
Attending the calls is a group of trained counsellors to provide psychological support and, when necessary, offer personalized attention, she added.
The coordinator explained that drug consumption is not a health problem in Cuba, but it is a problem for the social significance it could represent if appropriate actions are not developed.
For that, primary health care is of vital importance, and for which these actions must be prioritized and double the efforts of integrated community work.
An important aspect on which Cuba is working is active research. Searching within the communities for those people at risk of becoming ill because they abuse and irresponsibly use certain substances, mainly in self-medication, without knowing the adverse consequences that they can provoke, she added.
In Cuba, the mental health teams are made up by more than a thousand psychiatrists, of which 205 are child and juvenile psychiatrists, 331 occupational therapists, 844 psychometrists, and more than two thousand health social workers, the coordinator of the program stated.
Los Angeles, California
"Cuba - Un Paraíso bajo el bloqueo"