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The devastating consequences of drug use know no geographic, economic, social, or ethnic boundaries.  Each year hundreds of thousands of people around the globe – rich, poor, educated, illiterate, male, female, and even young children – die from substance use disorders, and many are victims of drug-fueled violence.  Beyond the toll drugs take on personal health, substance use disorders undermine economic development, diminish social and political stability, and reduce security around the world.  INL’s drug demand reduction program plays a part in addressing the underlying problems that generate violence, fuel other criminal behavior, and heighten instability, thereby bolstering the safety and security of U.S. citizens. 

INL responds to this global challenge by developing and funding innovative, evidence–based programs.  Our work sets the standard in many countries worldwide.  Efforts include programs to build the capacity of drug prevention efforts; to strengthen clinical skills and raise the standards of treatment and care; and to train local community members to address festering drug and crime issues.  As our long-term evaluations have repeatedly demonstrated, INL-sponsored programs are effective and a sound investment, resulting in reductions in drug use and drug related crime.   

International Drug Demand Reduction International Partners 

INL collaborates with international organizations, such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Colombo Plan, Organization of American States, Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD),Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and the African Union, to advance regional cooperation, exchange best practices, and to support capacity developing in over 80 countries.    

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In addition, INL supports international non-governmental organizations to support drug demand efforts and promote networking within the global drug demand reduction community.  Key organizations include the Coalition of Drug Free Communities of America, the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and its national chapters, and the International Consortium of Universities for Drug Demand Reduction (ICUDDR) 

Developing Global Best Practices and Innovative, Effective Training 

INL supported development of the Universal Treatment Curriculum, Universal Prevention Curriculum, and the Universal Recovery Curriculum – which together are the most comprehensive body of training materials in the addiction field, many of which are available onlineThe goal of these courses is to support the training, professionalization, and expansion of the global treatment and prevention workforce.  The courses also offer the opportunity to receive an internationally recognized certification managed by the Global Centre for Credentialing and Certification (GCCC). 

INL mainstreams gender and underserved populations throughout its global programming to ensure that underrepresented populations are able to benefit.  INL-designed courses include those focused on treating Women, Children under the age of 12, and the LGBTQI+ community 

In addition, INL’s Alternatives to Incarceration programming emphasizes expanding access to drug and mental health treatment at each stage of the justice system, from pre-arrest to diversion, prosecution, court to community supervision, and reentry into the community.  These programs ensure that people with substance use disorders have appropriate help and resources and help courts and other elements of the criminal justice system function more efficiently. 

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future