Volume 2, Issue 2 | Summer
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Summer 2016 NEWSLETTER

Welcome to the Summer edition of the ISAM newsletter. In this issue, you can read about a Humphrey Fellow's experience of the fellowship, about experiences of colleagues who have done the ISAM examination, about news from our affiliated societies and upcoming conferences.


This, then, is the test we must set for ourselves; not to march alone but to march in such a way that others will wish to join us. ~ Hubert H. Humphrey
The Hubert Horatio Humphrey Fellowship Program, is a US government international exchange program sponsored by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and was initiated in 1978 to honor the memory and accomplishments of the late senator and vice president.
The program brings accomplished professionals from designated countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Eurasia to the U.S. at a midpoint in their careers for a year of study and related professional experiences. Fellows are selected based on their potential for national leadership and a demonstrated commitment to public service in either the public or private sector. The Humphrey Fellowship Program provides a basis for establishing long-lasting productive partnerships and relationships between U.S. citizens and their professional counterparts in other countries, fostering an exchange of knowledge and mutual understanding throughout the world.
Fellows are nominated by US Embassies or Fulbright Commissions based on their potential for leadership.  By providing these future leaders with a shared experience of U.S. society and culture and of current US approaches to the fields in which they work, the Program provides a basis for lasting ties between citizens of the United States and their professional counterparts in other countries.  Thus, the Humphrey Fellowship Program fosters an exchange of knowledge and mutual understanding, through which the United States joins in a significant partnership with participating countries.
Fellowships are granted competitively to professional candidates with a commitment to public service in both the public and the private sectors in a wide range of fields, including agricultural development, communications/journalism, economic development, education, law and human rights, natural resources and environmental management and of course substance abuse, prevention, treatment and policies.
Virginia Commonwealth University was selected by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), US Department of State, as a new site for the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program in 2006. VCU joins 16 other universities from around the country in serving as a Humphrey Campus.
The VCU Humphrey Fellowship Program, located in the Department of Psychology, focuses on a broad range of health problems with an emphasis on understanding the behavioral, psychological, social and cultural factors that affect people’s health, and the use of behavior change interventions to promote positive health outcomes. Specific health problems addressed may include alcohol, drug and tobacco use, HIV/AIDS, mental health, developmental disabilities, obesity, violence, and eating disorders, among others. The program emphasizes the use of culturally appropriate, science-based prevention, treatment and policy interventions.
You can find more data on how you can apply for this Fellowship by accessing the Fulbright Commission or the USA embassy in your country. Usually registration starts in late August or September from the year before. The Fellowship starts in late august in the next year. Even if you are not fluent in English you can apply as additional training in English can be provided, but then the US experience starts  3 month before.
From a personal perspective I must admit that I learned a lot in the 11 months of the fellowship, not only the US perspective on addiction, but also from the experiences of my fellows from Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia, India, Bangladesh, Ghana and Ukraine. I strongly recommend that all of you to consider this great opportunity for your carrier.
For additional information, please contact the Program Coordinator, J. Randy Koch, PhD at or Associate Coordinator, Robert L. Balster, PhD at
Adrian Octavian Abagiu, MD, PhD, is a 2008/2009 Hubert H. Humphrey Alumni and a Senior Doctor in Infectious Diseases who has also been working in the field of addiction since 2005. Dr. Abagiu is the Medical Coordinator for the ARENA Center, the first harm-reduction oriented center for OMT in Romania operating within the National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Bucharest and treating more than 300 patients. He has participated as Principal Investigator and Co-PI in several studies and clinical trials involving HIV and hepatitis among injection drug users and stigmatized populations. Dr. Abagiu is the EUROPAD and ISAM representative for Romania and has published about 40 articles in the field.
News from affiliated societies 
 Attend American Academy of American Psychiatry (AAAP’s) Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium and the Addictions and Their Treatment course at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa in Bonita Springs, Florida!
The Annual Meeting, held December 8-11, 2016, provides the latest scientific developments in Addiction Psychiatry for physicians and allied health professionals who treat patients with substance use and mental health disorders. The meeting encourages interaction among clinicians from various disciplines, approaches, and settings. The Addictions and Their Treatment course is recommended for all clinicians and faculty in primary care and allied health professionals and takes place from December 6-8, 2016.

Dutch Society (VVGN)
The Dutch Society on Addiction Medicine with more than 200 members, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2015. In 2013 addiction medicine was recognised as a medical speciality (profile) by the Dutch College on Medical Specialities. To be registered as a specialist in addiction medicine, a physician has to complete a two-year training. In 2016, after lengthy discussions, the trend to give psychiatrists and clinical psychologists the central role in leading the treatment process for addictions, even without training in addictions,  now looks to be shifting back and specialists in addiction medicine are seen as well equipped for this task. 

Swiss Society for Addiction Medicine (SSAM)
 The SSAM has a section for addiction psychiatry and psychotherapy (SSAM-SAPP). The section is an affiliate society to the Swiss Society for Psychiatry & Psychotherapy (SSPP), the national society of the psychiatrists in Switzerland and one of the largest medical societies. In addition to a title of “psychiatry and psychotherapy” the SSPP foresees also 4 subspecialty titles: consultant and liaison psychiatry, psychiatry and psychotherapy of the elderly, forensic psychiatry, and psychiatry and psychotherapy of the addictions. The SSPP mandated the SSAM-SAPP to develop this last subtitle. In a long and arduous process many hurdles had to be overcome, but finally the subspecialty title will set in to effect in the next few months. At the same time the SSAM restarted the work on a skills certificate in addiction for non-psychiatrists.

Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM-SMCA)
 Much work has been going on with the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine in the last number of months. We are eagerly and enthusiastically working with ISAM to create “An International Collaboration in Addiction Medicine,” our scientific assembly in October in Montreal. An outstanding group of plenary speakers has been secured and symposia are well into development. Our joint scientific assembly will feature an educational symposium in French and a Fundamentals Day. Lastly, significant background work is underway on our website to facilitate functionality and to help us use this vehicle to reach and interact with membership.

On behalf of ISAM, we would like to bring to your attention an important and easily facilitated opportunity for professional development. We would like to present and share thoughts from three ISAM members' point of view, who have taken the examination for ISAM International Certification in Addiction::

 “Besides helping in day to day clinical practice in my patients of Axis 1 disorders of ACTT , Assertive Community Treatment Team, this qualification CISAM has given me confidence in dealing with substance use disorders overall."
"C-ISAM has given me recognition as an addiction psychiatrist. I am keen to embrace new challenges in the field of addiction psychiatry at this stage of my career."
“I started preparing to the ISAM Certification examination 6-8 months before the exam.
ISAM website clearly explained objectives, format and content areas of the examination."
"Knowledge received during the preparation for ISAM Certification examination helped me to deliver evidence-based medicine during consultancy as a psychiatrist in Ukraine."
"ISAM Certification examination is a perfect experience where I exercised and upgraded my skills and competence in the field of addiction psychiatry and medicine."
"Passing the International Certification in Addiction Medicine Exam has given me appreciation and acknowledgement in my home country. I have been motivating my colleagues and juniors to give this exam as well. I am planning to pursue fellowship in Addiction Medicine abroad in the near future."

Please consider taking the ISAM examination on October 19th, 2016, in Montreal!
Announcements and upcoming conferences
Lisbon Addictions

 Following the success of Lisbon Addictions 2015 (Over 600 participants from 58 countries attended the First European conference on addictive behaviours and dependencies), the organisers have decided to launch Lisbon Addictions 2017 (a new venue, which can accommodate up to 850 participants), which will take place in the Lisboa Congress Centre, from 24 to 26 October 2017.

Once again, the conference will be jointly organised by the Portuguese General Directorate for Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (SICAD), the journal Addiction, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and the International Society of Addiction Journal Editors (ISAJE).

Key dates:

  • Registration opening in Autumn 2016
  • Call for abstracts to be launched in Autumn

This is the conference website:

British Columbia Addiction Conference& Research Day (Canada)
This free, full-day event consists of a community conference, invited plenary lecture, followed by presentations by various researchers and trainees affiliated with the Fellowship program. This year’s event will be held on Wednesday, May 25, 2016. For the 2016 program or more information, please click here.

Canada Medicine Research Fellowship (CAMRF)

The Canada Addiction Medicine Research Fellowship is a US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded research training fellowship in partnership with St. Paul’s Hospital, the University of British Columbia, and the Urban Health Research Initiative of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. This fellowship will train addiction medicine physicians to develop the skills required for a career in addiction research. This new research training program provides $50,000 research fellowships for physicians who are involved in the care of alcohol- and drug-addicted patients. This part-time, one-year curriculum runs from July 1st to June 30th annually. Four positions are available for competitive candidates.


The Canada Addiction Medicine Research Fellowship accepts applications from physicians who are involved in the care of alcohol- and drug-addicted patients. Exceptional post-doctoral candidates with a PhD background will also be considered. Four positions are available for competitive candidates.

Application Timeline for the 2016-2017 Research Fellowship

  • November 1, 2016: Application process opens
  • December 5, 2016: Application deadline
  • December 12, 2016 to January 13, 2017: Interview period
  • January 16, 2017: Acceptance notification
  • January 20, 2017: Deadline for acceptance
  • July 1, 2017: Fellowship begins

Learn more at:
Interested in writing for the ISAM Newsletter?

Have you thought about writing for The ISAM Newsletter?

The ISAM Newsletter is published by the ISAM Society as a platform for the discussion of issues and topics relevant to addiction medicine internationally.

What types of articles are welcome?

  • Thoughts on addiction (maximum 750 words)
  • News and announcements (maximum 300 words)
  • Letters to the Editors (maximum 500 words)
  • Editorials/ Commentaries (maximum 500 words)
  • Personal views/ Opinion pieces (maximum 500 words)
  • Questions to others interested in addiction (maximum 500 words)

Tips for writing an article

  • Use a 12-pt size font (e.g., Times New Roman); double-space your text 
Author guidelines
  • Shorter is better. Stay within the word limits.
  • Please submit documents in MS Word format (.doc or .docx) with standard margins (i.e., 2.54 cm or 1 inch)

Can I talk to someone about my ideas?
Authors considering writing an article for the ISAM Newsletter may contact the editorial team at the email address below.

Remember! Your submissions are essential to the development of The ISAM Newsletter as a platform for review, debate and discussion of key issues in addiction medicine, internationally.

Articles should be emailed (as electronic copy) to: The Editors, The ISAM Newsletter, International Society of Addiction Medicine, c/o M. Dorozio 47 Tuscany Ridge Terrace NW, Calgary, Alberta T3L345, Canada. Email:

The editors reserve the right to edit articles for content, length, grammar, ISAM Newsletter style, and readability. The editors reserve the right to decide whether or not a new submission should be published. Any article deemed inappropriate for ISAM or damaging to ISAM’s reputation will not be accepted.
Newsletter Editorial Board :
Jens Reimer (Germany); Adrian Abagiu (Romania); Jan Klimas (Canada); Jenna Butner (USA);
Copyright © 2016 International Society of Addiction Medicine, All rights reserved.
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