Management of substance abuse

Epidemiology and assessment


Report on the meeting on indicators for monitoring alcohol, drugs and other psychoactive substance use, substance-attributable harm and societal responses, Valencia, Spain, 19-21 October 2009

In monitoring the extent of psychoactive substance use, substance-attributable harm and societal responses, the use of a key set of standardized indicators would increase the capacity of national, regional, and global observatories to reliably detect and interpret key trends, and make international comparisons. In this context, the WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Management of Substance Abuse convened a technical meeting on indicators for monitoring alcohol, drugs and other psychoactive substance use, substance-attributable harm and societal responses from 19-21 October 2009 in Valencia, Spain. The document outlines a set of indicators, based on the discussions during the meeting. These indicators can be used for setting up monitoring systems at the national, regional and global level.


Rapid Assessment of Alcohol and Other Substance Use in Conflict-affected and Displaced Populations: A Field Guide, 2008

This document is based on a collaborative project between the UNHCR Public Health and HIV Section and the WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. An increase in alcohol and other substance use is among the many health and social issues associated with conflict and displacement. Problems with substance use are prevalent in a variety of conflict affected situations, including camps for refugees and internally displaced people. Psychoactive substances, particularly alcohol and psychostimulants, are also often used by combatants.


SEX-RAR Guide: The Rapid Assessment and Response Guide on Psychoactive Substance Use and Sexual Risk Behaviour, 2002

This document contains two separate sections. The first section provides an introduction and background to the aims and objectives of the WHO/UNAIDS project on substance use and sexual risk behaviour. The second section contains the WHO Rapid Assessment and Response Guide for Substance Use and Sexual Risk Behaviour (SEX-RAR). This section aims to offer a complete package for undertaking rapid assessments on sexual behaviours associated with substance use, the associated adverse health consequences and the development of intervention responses.


Response to the Rapid Assessment on Substance Use and Sexual Risk Behaviour: Slovakia, 2002


A Rapid Assessment in Relation to Alcohol and Other Substance Use and Sexual Behaviour in Zimbabwe, 2002


A Rapid Situation Assessment of Alcohol in Relation to Sexual Behaviour in Lagos, Nigeria, 2002


A Rapid Situation Assessment of Sexual Risk Behaviour and Substance Use Among Sex Workers and their Clients in Chennai (Madras), South India, 2003


Working With Street Children: Monitoring and Evaluation of a Street Children Project, 2002

No project is ever complete without monitoring and evaluation. Important lessons from any intervention help to shape the course of future work and avoids duplication of effort. This handbook is therfore complementary to the Street Children Training Package produced by WHO in 2000. It is designed to be used by street educators, as well as other people working with street children. It aims to provide the user with an understanding of the importance of monitoring and evaluating of a street children project, identify a wide range of appropriate strategies for this and consequently the development of confidence to implement monitoring and evaluation activities.


Surveys of Drinking Patterns and Problems in Seven Developing Countries, 2001

The present manuscript's aim is to put together survey analyses and drinking patterns and problems in a variety of developing societies. The countries featured are China, Costa Rica, India, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria and Seychelles.


WHO Drug Injecting Study Phase II: Study Questionnaire, 2001


WHO Drug Injecting Study Phase II: Operations Manual Version 4, 2000


Guide to Drug Abuse Epidemiology, 2000

This publication is the product of a collaboration between WHO, the United States National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and substance use epidemiology and other experts from more than twenty countries. It has been produced in response to the need for valid, reliable and timely information on the prevalence, trends and patterns of drug use-related problems. This information is needed for planning, implementing and evaluating effective prevention, treatment, policy response and other interventions for substance use-related problems. This guide seeks to provide technical guidance to countries and communities in all aspects of drug abuse epidemiology in order to address emerging and changing problems associated with drug use. The guide provides practical guidance on internationally comparable, yet locally appropriate and culturally adaptable measures and methods. The guide is designed to be suitable for countries and communities at all levels of health development, including those with limited resources and experience in drug abuse epidemiology.

  • Introduction
  • Defining the Problem (Initial Assessment of the Situation)
  • Existing information sources
  • Qualitative Methods
  • General Population Surveys of Drug Abuse
  • Selecting Variables and Measures for Drug Surveys
  • Special Population Studies
  • Reporting Systems
  • Reporting and Application of Results
  • Field Assessment of Model Core Questionnaire

Alcohol and Public Health in 8 Developing Countries, 1999

This book profiles the current situations concerning alcoholic beverages in eight developing countries: Brazil, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Each chapter presents a brief historical sketch of alcohol in that country, describes the types of alcoholic beverages consumed, gives information on alcohol production, availability and marketing, discusses patterns of use, and then focuses on the particular alcohol-related problems that exist, along with whatever responses have been mounted to counteract them.


Young People and Substance Use: A Manual: Create, use and evaluate educational materials and activities, 1999

This is a simple, straightforward and easy-to-use guidebook to help health workers without extensive training or sophisticated resources to produce educational resources on issues related to substance use. It is hoped that these guidelines will encourage local organizations, community leaders, parents, health workers and street educators to deal with issues related to alcohol, tobacco and other psychoactive substances in a non-judgemental way, which in turn will help young people to seek advice, help and treatment without fear.


Rapid Assessment and Response Guide on Injecting Drug Use (IDU-RAR), 1998

This guide describes the Rapid Assessment and Response Guide approach (RAR) that is used to undertake rapid assessments of drug injecting and its adverse health consequences. It is designed for those who wish to assess, within a city or region, the current situation regarding drug injecting, and who wish to use this information to develop interventions to reduce the adverse health consequences of injecting.


Rapid Assessment and Response Guide on Psychoactive Substance Use Among Especially Vulnerable Young People (EVYP-RAR)

This guide has been designed as a 'stand-alone' package for principal investigators wishing to undertake rapid assessments on especially vulnerable young people and substance use.


Share