Drug Use and Trafficking in Senegal: Strengthening Monitoring and Treatment Centres
Drug use, trafficking, production and cultivation of illicit substances affect most countries in the world, posing public health, development and security problems both in industrialized and developing countries. According to a 2012 UNODC assessment report, Senegal faces major drug-related problems, mainly caused by high use of cannabis, crack-cocaine and to a lesser extent heroin, triggering negative health and social consequences.
Effective national responses to these problems include law enforcement efforts to stop or reduce production and trafficking of illicit drugs (supply reduction), along with approaches to prevent drug use and dependence, and to establish programmes for the treatment and care of users (demand reduction).
In the framework of the Joint UNODC/WHO Programme on Drug Dependence Treatment and Care (PDDTC), UNODC and WHO support the relevant authorities and institutions in Senegal to develop two key activities: (1) the increased availability and accessibility of evidence-based drug dependence treatment and care services and (2) the development of a National Drug Observatory (NOD).
Along these lines, the "Centre de Prise en charge Intégrée des Addictions de Dakar" (CEPIAD) was recently inaugurated in the framework of the UNODC contribution to support drug dependence treatment service development and evidence-based service delivery. UNODC resources added to funding from other partners to create a functional setting in which drug dependence treatment services can be delivered. The new specialized integrated center on drug addiction treatment opened formally at the University Hospital of Dakar on December 1st 2014, and delivers the first methadone maintenance programme in West Africa.
The "Centre de Prise en charge Intégrée des Addictions de Dakar" (CEPIAD), inaugurated on 1 December 2014
Furthermore, on 24-28 November 2014, UNODC and the World Health Organization (WHO) organized a training workshop on the National Drug Observatory in Senegal. The event took place in Saly-Mbour (Senegal) just days before the inauguration of the CEPIAD, bringing together around 25 national experts on drug data collection from different structures.
The five-day workshop was facilitated by an international expert in building drug observatories, while technical support was provided by experts from WHO Geneva and UNODC Headquarters. Participants who attended the training included law enforcement officers and treatment centers experts involved in drug demand reduction. These experts, who shared their respective experiences following the presentations, are in charge of providing national information on drugs through data collection, collation, management tools and national-level reporting.
Key achievements of the workshop include the development of a Treatment Demand Indicator (TDI) and other standard data collection tools (sheets/questionnaires); the creation of databases for health and law enforcement indicators; the development of a manual for data collection, entry, transmission and analysis for the TDI; team trainings on indicators; the establishment of a map of all available statistical sources including surveys and qualitative studies; the identification of national institutions; and the collection of relevant information on legal aspects regarding the drug observatory.
Illicit drug supply, use and dependence are dynamically developing phenomena. To obtain and evaluate evidence, informed policies and actions, countries need to implement mechanisms to regularly monitor the extent, patterns and trends of drug supply and demand, along with appropriate national responses. Parties to the International Drug Control Conventions are required to report regularly on their national drug use figures, as well as on related interventions aimed at reducing the demand and supply of drugs. National observatories can provide high quality comparable information to regional and international information networks, provided it is collected following agreed-upon indicators and reporting mechanisms.