The International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM) provides a supportive academic network for the international addiction medicine field. In addition to electronic communication, consensual position papers, and research in all areas related to drug addiction and associated co-morbidity including infections such as HIV. ISAM sponsors annual conferences to disseminate advances in the field worldwide, with priority on providing opportunities for professionals from countries with relatively few resources to participate/present. We have also established a process of International Certification in Addiction Medicine. ISAM has thus been working since 1999 to promote better understanding worldwide, among professionals in addiction medicine, of connections among drug abuse, psychological/psychiatric consequences, and disease processes including HIV and other blood-borne pathogens. One significant outcome has been recognition of ?global? factors in substance abuse, associated with medical/psychiatric/social consequences regardless of race, gender, culture, or ethnicity. Our goal, to build a united, informed medical voice in collaboration with other disciplines to speak on behalf of patients in prevention and management of addictions worldwide, has been significantly supported by our annual conferences with fiscal and advisory assistance from NIH/NIDA Conference Grants (2006;2007-2010). Funds are sought through this renewal application to support annual meetings in 2011-2015. Currently the Milan, Italy, 2010 conference has just concluded, followed by Oslo, Norway (2011), Geneva, Switzerland (2012), and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2013), Japan (2014), Scotland/England, 2015. While the organization and conference have evolved significantly with NIDA?s assistance, we plan to retain unique elements of the conference that help to set its ?character.? Those include 1) integrated academic/recreational offerings, 2) formalized opportunities for open discussion/exchange concluding program sessions, 3) inclusion of conference venues to present new/emerging science of addiction and cooccurring infections (HIV, HCV and others), 4) systematically varying global geographic sites, promoting local attendance/regional access, and 5) providing support/mentorship for development of young/economically under-resourced colleagues in the worldwide addiction medicine community. Throughout the upcoming conferences (2011-2015), there will be symposia/workshops/activities on HIV and its opportunistic infections (HCV and others). Speakers will present the most up-to-date research on HIV. The organization has benefited from financial and consultative support afforded by the previous conference grant and by significant expertise, time, and thought of many members of NIDA's executive staff who have honored us by speaking at past meetings. NIDA has also provided most meaningful additions to our proceedings and inspiration to younger scientists/addiction medicine practitioners to whom the organization desires to provide mentorship and collegiality. Thus continuing such support is of very high priority to ISAM as an organization.
ISAM, with a partial support from NIDA, will continue to organize annual conferences in the international settings with a focus on research in all fields of addiction- ranging from clinical treatment to translational research on drug addiction and co-occurring diseases including HIV/AIDS;advance understanding of connections between drug abuse, psychological, and psychiatric consequences, and infectious diseases (HIV, hepatitis C, TB, STIs, and others), with emphasis on identifying substance abuse factors that are global in nature, associated with physical/psychiatric consequences regardless of race, gender, culture, or ethnicity. NIDA support will also provide traveling fellowships to young physicians/scholars from developing countries to engage in research on drug addiction.