Training Initiatives

ICCE Training Initiatives

Since its inception, ICCE has embarked on a series of trainings on the Basic Level UTC in the region through the funding support of INL, US Department of State. With the cadre of regional trainers and national trainers, ICCE intensively conducts more than 70 activities every year.

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Besides the UTC and UPC, ICCE has also developed five specialised curricula, namely: Guiding Recovery of Women (GROW), Developing Community-based Recovery Support Systems, Recovery Coach, Community Outreach and Village-based Treatment.

Guiding Recovery of Women (GROW)

Substance use in women has a distinct etiology, progression, and concomitant treatment needs. These findings are providing critical information on treatment interventions, policies, and organisational structures that meet the specialised needs of women. As the literature suggests, gender-responsive addiction treatment is now considered a best practice in helping women in and through recovery.

The GROW Curriculum has been designed to train substance abuse treatment professionals on gender- responsive methods and modalities. It aims to do so through the provision of the latest research on evidence-based gender-responsive treatments for women, and the introduction of key principles by experts in the field. The curriculum has been reviewed and examined internationally, and has provided insight and direction to organisations that work with women in recovery from SUDs. This training is part of the global treatment certification initiative funded by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), US Department of State to enhance the technical capacities of addiction professionals worldwide.
As mentioned in the UNODC Report, substance-abusing women have limited access to treatment as compared to their male counterparts. Stigma and the lack of treatment opportunities were cited as the main reasons for this situation. However, the lack of gender-responsive treatment methods and modalities also contribute to this condition.
The GROW Training Series has ten curricula namely, GROW Basic, Relapse Prevention Treatment for Women, Understanding the Continuum of Care Needs of Women in Recovery, Gender-responsive Substance Abuse Treatment Interventions for Adolescent Girls, Treating Women with Children, Gender- responsive Substance Abuse Treatment Interventions for Women with Domestic Violence Experience, Gender-responsive Treatment Interventions that Address the Trauma-specific Needs of Women, Gender- responsive Substance Abuse Treatment Interventions for Women with Co-occurring Disorders, Gender- responsive Substance Abuse Treatment Interventions for Pregnant Addicted Women, and Gender-sensitive Approach to Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy: Family Systems Theory and Family Issues Groups. Similar to UTC, the GROW training series is also skills-based and highly interactive in the teaching methodology.

GROW Basic

The goal of the curriculum is to provide participants with current information that addiction specialists around the world are seeking to realise effective interventions with addicted women. Addiction affects every aspect of a person’s life; health, work, relationships, family, and negatively impacts how a person views himself and others. There are distinct emotional, behavioural and cognitive elements evident when substance abuse reaches the level of addiction. The ABC’s of Addiction characterises all aspects of substance abuse and highlights areas needing attention during recovery.

Relapse Prevention Treatment for Women

Since most substance abuse treatment programs have recognised high relapse rates following treatment, implementing relapse prevention programmes is now considered a standard component of treatment. However, studies have indicated that men and women in drug abuse treatment relapse at different rates and for different reasons, suggesting women have special needs. (Fiorentine, et al, 1997, Walton, et al, 2001) The GROW Relapse Prevention Curriculum explores the diversity in treatment and relapse prevention needs of women and offers a gender-responsive treatment approach that includes a specific approach to relapse prevention.

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: Understanding the Continuum of Care Needs of Women in Recovery

The GROW Continuum of Care module offers a model for sustaining abstinence and progress obtained in treatment. Combined with the other curricula in the GROW curriculum series, this curriculum will provide participants with the knowledge and skills needed to develop continuing care services for women in recovery.

Gender-Responsive Substance Abuse Treatment Interventions for Adolescent Girls (GROW GIRLS)

This GROW GIRLS curriculum recognises the importance of intervening with girls who are struggling with their developmental pathways, conditions and experiences that are leading to substance abuse/addiction, delinquency/life on the streets, and a host of other health issues. In understanding the difficulties and challenges girls face that lead to addiction and delinquency, it is helpful to, first, consider what girls need for a healthy development while also recognising the situations and experiences that place them at greater risk.

Treating Women with Children

The focus of this curriculum is to explore the impact of substance abuse and dependence on women and their children. While engaging to effect a recovery system for women, the child/children should not be excluded. The changes the client makes in recovery will have a profound impact on the children. Childhood abuse and neglect for women and its connection to substance use, abuse and how children are nurtured is often overlooked when assessing and designing treatment for, and with women. Essentials in establishing adequate treatment for women and their children are adequate assessment tools, frequent clinical case conferencing and community collaboration. Interventions that identifies barriers and improve the relationship between women and children is also essential to sustained recovery.

Gender-Responsive Substance Abuse Treatment Interventions for Women with Domestic Violence Experience

Traumatic in nature, domestic violence is a problem for women, families and society at large as it is a frequently overlooked and mishandled as a treatment issue. The experience of violence, either as a victim or perpetrator, should be included in the list of client issues that is explored and addressed during treatment. While the connection between chemical dependence and domestic violence is well known, treatment strategies have often resulted in conflicts for practitioners, as well as, for the women in their care.

Gender-Responsive Treatment Interventions that Address the Trauma-Specific Needs of Women

Addiction places women at increased risks of future trauma through continued associations with dangerous people, and illicit activities and lowered self-protection while under the influence. While trauma is a central element of addiction for women, loosening its grip is a critical component of recovery, freedom from suffering, and emotional wellness.
This GROW Trauma curriculum informs and identifies interventions and best practices that meet the trauma-specific needs of women in their recovery and healing process. Identifying the needed support and services are essential in helping address the issue of trauma among women with SUDs. Recovery from addiction and healing traumatic experiences almost always leads to new insights, meaning and purpose in life.

Gender-Responsive Substance Abuse Treatment Interventions for Women with Co-Occurring Disorders

Addiction places women at increased risks of future trauma through continued associations with dangerous people, and illicit activities and lowered self-protection while under the influence. While trauma is a central element of addiction for women, loosening its grip is a critical component of recovery, freedom from suffering, and emotional wellness.
This GROW Trauma curriculum informs and identifies interventions and best practices that meet the trauma-specific needs of women in their recovery and healing process. Identifying the needed support and services are essential in helping address the issue of trauma among women with SUDs. Recovery from addiction and healing traumatic experiences almost always leads to new insights, meaning and purpose in life.

Gender-Responsive Substance Abuse Treatment Interventions for Pregnant Addicted Women

This curriculum provides participants with an understanding of pregnancy from the perspective of women with substance used disorders. A wide range of services is recommended, services that support a woman’s recovery and ensure optimal comprehensive obstetrical care is delivered, and options that will lead over time to increased access to such services and improved treatment outcomes for women.

Gender-Sensitive Approach to Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy: Family
Systems Theory and Family Issues Groups

This curriculum helps participants understand the role of family in the development of substance use/ abuse, the impact of addiction on family systems and the value of family interventions to improve recovery outcomes. The concept of “steps” is introduced to assist families with substance abuse problems. It does not only identifies the challenge necessary to climb-out of the darkness of addiction and provides understanding of the key elements of family work.

Developing Community-based Recovery Support Systems

The use of addictive substances not only affects the individuals and their families, but the broader community as well. Similarly, recovery from substance use disorders benefits all – the affected individuals, their families, and the community at large.
To facilitate and promote recovery, it is important for communities to understand best practices in peer and community-based interventions. A recovery-oriented community offers intervention supports and relapse prevention beyond the scope of traditional addiction treatment. Community-based organisations like places of worship, business organisations, local entrepreneurs and other community stakeholders can provide recovery support, including jobs, pro-social activities, and environments, where recovering persons can give and receive support.
In view of this, ICCE in collaboration with the Chicago-based Center for Health and Justice (CHJ) has developed a training curriculum on community-based recovery support systems for Asia and Africa. CHJ is a division of TASC (Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities), a non-profit organisation in the state of Illinois (USA) with nearly four decades of experience in facilitating recovery for people with chronic substance use disorders.
This curriculum is implemented through a five-day training workshop that covers a number of key issues related to community-based recovery including:
The Science of Addiction offers a basic understanding of the way addictive substances work in the brain and how recovery occurs.
Recovery as a Process introduces several pathways to recovery and how community-based support systems and services can illuminate these paths. This section also describes the concepts of acute-care and chronic-care approaches to addiction, and differences between these concepts.
Strength-based Approach to Recovery Support discusses the value of strength-based approaches toward recovery, introduces the concept of “recovery capital” and emphasises positive internal and external factors—such as peer support, education, employment, etc.—that supports an individual’s recovery. The curriculum also presents key concepts like recovery management and recovery-oriented systems of care.
Populations We Serve covers three important groups of people- women, youth, and people involved in the criminal justice system- who often do not receive the services which address their needs and specific concerns associated with recovery from substance use disorder.
Women in Recovery, explores the strengths, needs, and challenges faced in particular by women and ways of providing effective community based recovery support for women.
Youth in Recovery, similarly, provides an understanding about the special challenges of and recovery support for youth affected by drugs and alcohol.
Criminal Justice and Recovery, on the other hand, discusses the special challenges of people returning to the community after incarceration and ways of providing effective support for their recovery and community re-entry.
Healing the Stigma focuses on understanding why individuals with SUDs are stigmatised, effects of stigma and shame, and the role of the community in addressing stigma and promoting acceptance.
Family and Community Roles in Recovery describes three important roles in the recovery-support process (outreach, recovery coaching, and peer support), and underscores the diversity of pathways people take in recovery.

Recovery Coach

The Recovery Coach certification can be obtained by an individual who has self-identified as being in recovery from substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders. In addition, a Recovery Coach would have completed specialised training recognised by the Colombo Plan International Centre for Credentialing and Education of Addiction Professionals (ICCE) on how to provide peer recovery services based on the principles of recovery and resiliency.
Recovery Coaches can provide support to others with substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders and help them achieve their personal recovery goals by promoting self-determination, personal responsibility, and empowerment inherent in self-directed recovery.
Direct peer-to-peer services can include a variety of support services, such as:

  • Assisting in the development and achievement of strengths-based individual goals
  • Serving as an advocate, mentor, or facilitator for resolution of issues that a peer is unable to resolve on his/her own
  • Assisting in the development and achievement of rehabilitation goals
  • Developing community support
  • Providing information on ways to maintain personal wellness and recovery
  • Providing information on behavioural health system navigation

Community Outreach

This curriculum outlines the knowledge and process of setting up and operating a community-based outreach programme. It provides a comprehensive overview of core outreach services pertaining to substance use-related problems in the community with an understanding of other additional services. It also provides an understanding of implementing SBIRT (screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment) and ethics for outreach staff.

Village-based Treatment

This curriculum presents a comprehensive overview of village-based treatment programme, which is a low-cost, community-based approach for the treatment of SUDs in areas where facilities are not available..