TRAINING OF FEMALE TREATMENT PRACTITIONERS ON CREATING GENDER-RESPONSIVE SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT INTERVENTIONS
Thirty-three female substance abuse treatment practitioners from various parts of Afghanistan and different organizations (SHRO, WADAN & SSAWO) participated in the Guiding Recovery of Women (GROW) training programme in Sicily. The women have been trained in the field of gender-responsive treatment and interventions for adolescent girls, women, and children. Furthermore, the first GROW curriculum provided an overview of the addiction, treatment model, and research on women in substance abuse. A specific focus was placed on relational-cultural theory (RCT), which emphasized the importance of empathy and mutuality.
The opening ceremony, led by Don Vincenzo Sorce, President of Associacione Casa Famiglia Rosetta (ACFR) was held in Teatro Regina Margherita-Caltanissetta. Honourable Raffaele Lombardo, President of Sicily, Dr. Phyllis (A&A), and Dr. Mastora (SHRO on behalf of the Afghan participants) graced the opening ceremony, all underscoring the importance of the collaboration, and the common support of addicted women and children in Afghanistan. The event in Caltanissetta was widely covered by the local and national media.
The training group was able to learn about the different theories of addiction, intervention ways and implications for treatment. In particular, they learned more about the Biopsychsocial theory and the ABC´s of Addiction. In doing so, the trainers outlined the specific impact of emotions and cognition on addicted behaviour. Furthermore, the participants realised that women abuse substances at different rates, for different motivations, and additionally respond differently to treatment than men. For this reason, there is a significant need for gender responsive interventions.
Finally, the participants were very motivated, enjoyed the group exercises and communicated well in implementing different group exercises, particularly to pay more attention to specific women issues in their treatment programme.
The Colombo Plan expressed its sincere appreciation to The Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), US Department of State for funding the initiative and Association of Casa Famiglia Rosetta (ACFR) for hosting the training programme.