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The Anatomy of a Successful Caribbean Substance Abuse Training Programme

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Objectives: This paper describes the components of the Caribbean Institute on Alcoholism and Other Drug Problems (CARIAD), a long-standing substance abuse training programme. It seeks to explain how certain strategies and pedagogic techniques may be contributing to its success.

Methods: Authors deconstruct the core elements of CARIAD to demonstrate how the programme effectively meets the characteristics of a community of practice. The processes used to develop the learning community and the specific pedagogic strategies and techniques that foster collaborative knowledge construction and sharing are described. 

Results: Caribbean Institute on Alcoholism and Other Drug Problems brings together a multi-disciplinary, multi-national group of individuals with interest in substance abuse. The programme provides a range of formal and informal learning activities which focus on sharing best practices and creating new sociocultural relevant knowledge to advance the domain of professional practice in substance abuse. The components of CARIAD promote interactivity, rapid bonding and a sense of identity. Caribbean Institute on Alcoholism and Other Drug Problems provides a unique platform for cultural sharing that gives participants an opportunity to reveal insights into local and regional expressions of substance abuse challenges. Participants, however, recognize the absence of structured continuity and the diminution of what could be accomplished by graduates over time. 

Conclusion: The success of CARIAD as a regional learning platform may be related to its success as a Caribbean community of practice for substance abuse. Caribbean Institute on Alcoholism and Other Drug Problems would do well to sustain the community of practice, generating and maintaining ongoing participation and collaboration among graduates. This can potentially serve to create new strategies for advancing the region in the area of substance abuse. 

October 27, 2014
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