Dundee to welcome ISAM 2015, world’s major Congress on Addiction Medicine

The world’s major scientific conference on addiction medicine will be hosted by the University of Dundee in October 2015.

The 17th International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM) Congress will welcome hundreds of leading experts from around the globe to Scotland. They will include representatives from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), US National Institute of Alcohol and Alcoholism (NIAA), United Nations (UN) and the European Monitoring Centre for Drug and Drug Abuse (EMCDDA).

Addiction and the healthcare challenges it presents is a global problem. The ISAM  World Congress 2015 is being convened with the theme of `Addiction: From Biology to Recovery - translating research evidence to improve clinical practice and community resilience’.

Dr Alex Baldacchino, Clinical Senior Lecturer in Addiction Psychiatry at the University of Dundee and Clinical Lead and Consultant in Addiction Psychiatry for NHS Fife, is President of ISAM Dundee 2015.

He said, “I am delighted to welcome colleagues from around the world to Scotland. This is the major scientific meeting in the field of addiction medicine and it is a reflection of the University of Dundee’s standing that we have been chosen to host this year’s Congress.

“A core concept emerging from scientific advances over the past decade is that dependence or addiction is fundamentally a chronic relapsing brain condition that develops over time as a result of a combination of pre-morbid vulnerabilities and chronic use of psychoactive substances.

“The consequence to some is an uncontrollable, compulsive-like dysfunctional behaviour that will severely impact on the individual’s day-to-day existence within one’s own immediate family and surrounding community. Understanding resilience is not to eliminate stress or erase life’s difficulties. Instead, it gives people the strength to tackle problems, overcome adversity and move on with their lives.”

The scientific programme will include around 45 workshops on: addiction mechanisms, comorbid mental and/or physical health issues and substance misuse, health inequalities, alcohol and drug policies, HIV and co-occurring infections, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in addiction medicine and innovative treatment interventions. There will also be 10 keynote lectures.

Dr Gregory Bunt, President of ISAM, said, “We are delighted to be heading to Dundee for our Congress, which promises to be unique in its style, excellent in its content and memorable in its experience.”

Kerry Watson of VisitScotland’s Business Events team, which is supporting the Congress through the VisitScotland Conference Bid Fund, said, “Scotland has a rich history in medical research and we are pleased to be able to help bring this important Congress to Dundee. Dr Baldacchino and his team will put on an excellent event for delegates from all over the world and I’m sure they will enjoy what, for many, will be their first visit to the city.”

The ISAM Congress takes place at the Caird Hall in Dundee from Monday 5th October to Thursday 8th October. It will be preceded by a public debate at the University of Dundee on Saturday October 3rd on the issue `Should drugs be legalised in Scotland?’ featuring pro- and anti-legalisation views from some of Scotland’s leading experts.

ISAM Dundee 2015 will also incorporate an Art and Culture Festival which has been inspired by the local communities experiencing the consequences of substance misuse.


Roddy Isles
Head of Press
TEL: 01382 384910
MOBILE: 07800 581902
E-MAIL: r.isles@dundee.ac.uk