Learning Strategies about Drugs (LSD)

Economic crisis, unemployment, increasing social inequalities are often the ground for the development of mental disorders and addictions. In Greece nowadays, issues like addiction and social exclusion are more pressing than ever, with drug dependence being one of the most important social challenges. However, medical students are not sufficiently educated about the effects of drug addiction on public and individual health or the psychological profile of an addicted individual. As a result, the treatment is often biased because of a non-efficient stereotypical approach.

Learning Strategies about Drugs (LSD), a project carried out in collaboration with Therapy Center for Dependent Individuals (KETHEA), addresses the issue of addiction, drug abuse and the psychosocial approach on addicted individuals.

The main objectives of the project are:

  • Informing medical students about addiction with emphasis on drug addiction and its impact on individual and public health
  • Familiarizing medical students with the psychosocial aspects of addiction in addicted individuals lives
  • Getting aware of the stigma following addiction, and eradication of stereotypes and discriminating behaviors towards addicted individuals
  • Giving medical students practical experience on approaching addicted individuals according to the human rights’ based approach

The project has been organised in collaboration with Therapy Center for Dependent Individuals – KETHEA for the last 7 years in all of our 7 Local Committees. Recently, it was enrolled under the IFMSA Dignified & Non Discriminatory Healthcare Program.

After 8 years of successful organisation, LSD has become a project with clearly defined goals, objectives and impact. Therefore, in order to be made accessible to more medical students, LSD is aiming to becoming a part of the Medical Curriculum. Up until now, the project managed to be ran by the course “Focused Patients Care”, at the University of Crete and it was open for all students who were enrolled to this course, receiving positive feedback.  This was the first step in making a change to the medical curriculum and bringing students closer to fighting their own stigma when it comes to addiction.

Point of information:

During the IFMSA General Assembly in 2014 in Taiwan, Learning Strategies about Drugs – LSD was awarded the first prize in Rex Crossley Awards. The Rex Crossley Awards is an award provided by IFMSA in recognition of the work and achievements of the best Activities of IFMSA National Member Organizations (NMOs). The awarded Activities have meaningful impact on the local, national and/or international society.