Addiction Awareness in Medical Schools – HelMSIC Greece

Name of the activity: Addiction Awareness in Medical Schools

Country/NMO: HelMSIC Greece

Program: Ethics and Human Rights in Health

Contact information: contact [email protected] to get in touch with the Activity Coordinator

Type of the activity: First-time Activity

Category: Research

Focus area: Medical Ethics (Patient Centered Care, Good Medical Practice, direct doctor-patient relationship)

Sustainable Development Goals addressed: SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities)

General description:

In the context of the project “Learning Strategies about Drugs – LSD”, since 2012 HelMSIC collects data on medical students’ educational needs and knowledge & stance on addiction issues. The research project aims at analysing these data to better understand the educational environment regarding addiction in the medical schools of Greece, deducing conclusions and forming concrete and evidence based proposals and recommendations on the renewal of undergraduate curricula.

Problem statement:

The stigmatising behaviour of doctors against individuals with addictions largely stems from insufficient medical education and ignorance. It traumatises the doctor-patient relation, halting the treatment of the individual. Based on data from KETHEA:

– 41% of medical students assess themselves as ready to provide healthcare to addicted individuals even after graduating

– 62.2% think that medical curriculum lacks the subject of addiction, and 93.6% agree that it should be part of the syllabus

Target groups:

  • Medical students


  • General population
  • Medical students
  • Doctors
  • Individuals with addictions


  1. To describe the educational environment of undergraduate medical education regarding addictions
  2. To support the inclusion of the topic of person centred care to individuals with addiction in the medical curricula with evidence-based suggestions

Indicators of Success:

1.1. Inclusion of all available post-analysis data on medical students’ educational needs on addiction issues in the results section of the research paper

1.2. Inclusion of all available post-analysis data  on medical students’ knowledge & stance on addiction issues in the results section of the research paper

1.3. Inclusion of conlusions deduced after comparative and cofactorial review of all available post-analyses data in the discussion section of the research paper

2.1. There are two references on preliminary data during the HelMSIC’s campaign for the World Drug Day 2023

2.2. One publication made in an international addiction journal after two years

2.3. Achieved intergration of “Learning Strategies about Drugs” activity or a similar syllabus in 6 medical schools in Greece one year after the publication

2.4. The publication is shared as a resource with IFMSA National Member Organizations


The data have been collected with two questionnaires, shared with medical students pre and post their involvement in the Learning Strategies about Drugs activity. Also, evaluation forms data have been collected.

In the context of the implementation plan of HelMSIC’s Policy Document on “Addiction and Stigma”, a small working group was formed and tasked with analysing the data, and finally drafting a research paper, to be published in an international journal. The coorginiser of Learning Strategies about Drugs, KETHEA – Therapy Centre for Dependent Individuals will be involved in the analysis of the data and the final review process.

Plans for evaluation:

The evaluation will be done in two phases. The first phase is going to be in the end of the research paper drafting process. It it going to include a review by KETHEA’s professional research team, as well as an internal evaluation of the drafting process by the SWG members. The second phase shall be initiated with the acceptance of the research paper by a journal, followed by a period of monitoring on the impact the publication had in HelMSIC advocacy efforts on the topic.

External collaborations:

Since 2011, LSD is co-organised with KETHEA – Therapy Centre for Dependent Individuals, a non-profit private legal entity and the largest national organisation in addiction recovery and rehabilitation. In the context of our collaboration it is has developed the research questionnaires, has analysed the data once before, and is providing scientific expertise, research capabilities, and advocacy support.


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