Cuba's health system, staffed by thousands of professionals and equipped with state-of-the-art technology, prioritizes the fight against addictions and alcoholism with the goal of improving the people's quality of life.
The Cuban centers specialized in treating addictions are usually located in rural areas and are surrounded by vegetation to guarantee a pleasant controlled environment for patients. Within that context, multidisciplinary teams are in charge of providing care to patients around the clock.
As part of the programs against addictions, the experts organize excursions to the beach and places of interest, in order to mitigate the sense of isolation that affects patients under such kinds of treatments.
When fighting addictions, it is of special important to provide treatment in places away from the patient's area of residence because, that way, he/she shows more willingness to overcome his/her problem.
The duration of the treatments against addictions ranges from 97 days to six months. The programs consist of several stages in which doctors assess the patient's condition and make a diagnosis, until he/she rehabilitates and reincorporates into his/her family and society.
In order to undergo treatment, the patient must be willing to do so voluntarily, not suffer from AIDS or liver diseases, and be accompanied by a relative during the evaluation period and the first few days of the program.
The Cuban health system's experience in treating addictions began in the 1980s and is assisted by multidisciplinary teams that use natural therapeutic methods, among other alternatives, which – along with other usual treatments – are aimed at preventing addictions by changing the patient's lifestyle and teaching him/her control techniques.
Cuba promotes a series of measures and procedures to reduce cigarette smoking. In that endeavor, authorities are assisted by the personnel working in some 240 doctor's offices throughout the country which greatly contribute to detoxification initiatives.
Cuban authorities signed the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which aims to reduce the damage caused by tobacco byproducts.
The convention establishes prohibitions on advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco, and favors an increase in taxes and prices for tobacco byproducts, among other measures.
The treatments against addictions implemented in Cuba include psychotherapy, flower therapy, natural and traditional medicine, acupuncture and homeopathy, in addition to substitutive therapies (nicotine patches).