Addiction is one of the biggest public health challenges of modern times, yet statistics reveal that only 1 in 10 people with addiction receive treatment, indicating a substantial treatment gap. The Yale and University of Jordan (UJ) Joint Training Program in Addiction Medicine, an educational initiative borne out of the Yale Institute for Global Health Global Addictions Network, aims to address this deficit by facilitating exchange between Yale and the University of Jordan regarding the prevention, identification, and treatment of substance use and substance use disorders while paying specific attention to cultural competency.
Last month faculty, staff, and a master’s student from the Yale Schools of Medicine and Public Health traveled to the University of Jordan in Amman to enhance educational exchange and engage with primary and secondary stakeholders to further the program’s mission as well as continue ongoing discussions around program evaluation and sustainability.
The visit kicked off with a student-led discussion facilitated by Winnie Ho, a recent graduate from the Master's of Public Health program, focused on the public health landscape, drug policy, and harm reduction in the United States. A few days later the team delivered a “Taking a Substance Use History” workshop to an interprofessional audience of about thirty health professions students and faculty from the University of Jordan Schools of Pharmacy, Medicine, and Rehabilitation Sciences as well as a handful of community-based stakeholders. Later in the week, Dr. Srinivas Muvvala spoke with medical, pharmacy, and nursing students as well as psychiatry residents about the “Treatment of Comorbid Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders.” To bring the visit to a close, the project team delivered a presentation to faculty and students from the University of Jordan School of Pharmacy as well as other community and governmental stakeholders about the project’s progress thus far and opportunities for future engagement.
Throughout their time in Amman, the group met with stakeholders at Jordan’s National Center for Addiction Rehabilitation, the Jordan University Hospital’s novel inpatient psychiatry unit, the Forearms of Change Center to Enable Community (a trailblazing harm reduction organization), and the Public Security Directorate’s Anti-Narcotics Department, gaining valuable insight into the landscape of drug use and addiction treatment in Jordan, particularly in the context of Middle Eastern and Islamic culture.
Lastly, the group met internally as well as with the project’s funder, the US Embassy in Amman, to discuss the Program’s progress towards its goals and objectives, the importance of bi-directional, interprofessional addiction-focused education, and opportunities for future growth and engagement. In addition to meeting with stakeholders in the Public Affairs Section, Drs. Jeanette Tetrault and Mayyada Wazaify had the opportunity to attend a stakeholders’ roundtable discussion on substance use in Jordan organized by the US Ambassador in Amman.
For more information on the Yale – UJ Joint Training Program in Addiction Medicine please contact email@example.com. If you are interested in exploring developing a new YIGH Faculty Network, please contact Dr. Jeremy Schwartz, firstname.lastname@example.org, Lead of the YIGH Faculty Network Program.