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Substance-related disorders treatment service in a general hospital in Ethiopia: Experience, challenges and opportunities

Solomon Teferra


According to the latest global burden of diseases report, substance related disorders (SRDs) remain important risk factors for disability and premature mortality. The subSaharan Africa region has a long history of substance use, but this was mainly limited to alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and khat. Recently, use of hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin is on the rise. This paper highlights the current status of SRDs in Ethiopia. Alcohol, khat and tobacco are the three substances commonly misused in Ethiopia. Evidence based interventons for SRDs for low and middle-income countries (LMICs) and the challenges of setng up SRD service, and applicaton of these interventons in Ethiopia, a country of more than 100 million people and the second largest in Africa afer Nigeria with rising SRDs, is presented. It also highlights the successes, opportunites and innovatve approaches undertaken. A descriptve summary of cases seen in the SRD treatment center, and outcomes of detoxifcaton is also presented. Lessons learnt in this process have the potental to inform other similar services in LMICs.

Keywords: Alcohol, Drugs, Ethiopia, Low and Middle Income, Services, Substance, subSaharan Africa