The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in collaboration with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (State/INL), has awarded the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) a $770,000 grant to support efforts to develop substance abuse services in Iraq.
The funds are provided by the State Department under an interagency agreement with SAMHSA to support the Iraqi Demand Reduction Initiative.
UCLA will use the funds to help the Iraqi Ministry of Health establish a Center of Excellence on Substance Abuse Services at Baghdad’s Medical City Complex. The center will build substance abuse service capacity in the country by training a core group of Iraqi medical professionals on service system development and the latest strategies in substance abuse treatment including the screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) approach and medication-assisted therapy.
“This is an exciting, innovative international collaboration that holds tremendous promise for the people of Iraq and the behavioral health field,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “The Iraqi people will benefit from a system in place that saves lives from the ravages of addiction and the U.S. behavioral health field will benefit from the lessons learned in creating a new integrated behavioral health system.”