Welcome Remarks for the Inaugural Meeting of the International Society of Substance Use Prevention and Treatment Professionals

John Brandolino
Director for Anticrime Programs, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Bangkok, Thailand
July 6, 2015

Good Morning,

I am honored to represent the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the U.S. Department of State on a historic day at the inauguration of an important initiative which will define the United States’ global assistance in the area of substance use treatment and prevention for the years to come.

We are proud to be a founding partner of the International Society for Substance Use Prevention and Treatment Professionals, or ISSUP.

A global association bringing together the drug treatment and prevention workforce is long overdue.

Substance use treatment and prevention is an independent and multi-disciplinary field of study. ISSUP aims to promote this field and the ever-increasing body of evidence-based practices that should guide clinical practice and prevention activities around the globe.

INL’s international organization partners represented here today include the Organization of American States, the Colombo Plan, UNODC, World Health Organization, and the African Union.

Over the past years they have helped us in one way or another to:

  1. develop protocols, standards and guidelines for the practice of treatment and prevention,
  2. create and disseminate curriculum, including the Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC) and Universal Prevention Curriculum (UPC), and
  3. establish an international examination and credentialing process.

We are delighted and proud to see that these products can be disseminated through ISSUP. INL invites governments and universities not currently involved in these initiatives to join us and our collaborating international organizations.

Let’s work together to translate science into practice!

I would like to express appreciation to Thanyarak Institute for their collaboration with INL over the past years, both in addressing drug use in Thailand as well as hosting and mentoring international treatment staff.

Likewise, I would like to thank Thailand’s Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) for their long collaborative relationship with INL, particularly in the area of drug demand reduction. We look forward to a continued partnership over the coming years in the region as well as in international fora.

Finally, I extend special appreciation to all of the treatment and prevention professionals gathered here who will be formally joining ISSUP later this afternoon.

A network is only as strong as its membership. Over the coming years, this network will expand and grow broadly.

You should feel proud to be part of this movement, and to take an active role in its development.

Following this week’s activities, I hope that everyone here today will register on the ISSUP.net website and contribute to the exchange of research and experiences.

Most importantly, we are excited by the prospects of a global community of professionals commonly oriented toward the same goals and relying on each other to impact their communities, their nations, and our world.

Thank you.