The International Society for Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP) Conference kicks off in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa region, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from May 12th to 16th.

The conference, hosted by the National Rehabilitation Center (NRC), in partnership with U.S. Department of State: Bureau of Intl Narcotics & Law Enforcement (INL) and International Society for Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP), will focus on the theme of the “Uniting the global community to face the challenge of addiction”.

“This conference seeks to build a global network of strategic partnerships between organizations and specialists in the field of substance use disorders. H. E. Dr. Hamad Abdullah Al Ghafri, Director-General of the National Rehabilitation Centre stated that.

“It constitutes a unique opportunity to share knowledge about scientific and research developments in this field, as well as up-to-date effective interventions and the best practices”.

He added: “More than 1,000 specialists and researchers in the fields of substance use disorders from all over the world will participate in the conference, more than 80 sub-plenaries dedicated to the latest research and studies. The conference will be accompanied by 25 workshops and 15 accredited training programs in all disciplines related to prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation, for 5 days in addition to the 7-days online conference with a total of 150 hours of broadcast, making it one of the longest online conferences in the field of Substance Use Disorders”.

The National Rehabilitation Center (NRC) participates in the conference by presenting seven scientific research and studies recently completed at the Center, which is smoking patterns in patients receiving treatment at the center, demographic profile and predictors of substances use disorders, evaluation of training on the Universal Prevention Curriculum for substance use, addiction nursing in the Arab world, individual stigma to substance use, as well as behavioral addictions among clinic attendees and substance use and the role of families.

H.E. Dr Hamad Al Ghafri stated that "The conference is the first scientific International event of this magnitude in the field of substance use since the beginning of Covid-19 pandemic. The fact that this event is happening in Abu Dhabi demonstrate the international confidence in the UAE and Abu Dhabi after the success achieved in controlling the pandemic. It highlights Abu Dhabi's outstanding infrastructure, which enables it to host international events in various sectors, especially the health sector. The conference attracts the world's attention to the medical tourism in Abu Dhabi and reflects the emirate's keenness to provide the latest medical practices and techniques based on scientific research and innovation in the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of substance use."

Noteworthy to state that ISSUP is a membership organization that connects, unites, and provides knowledge to the global substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery support workforce. The NRC hosts the UAE National Chapter of ISSUP.