September 11, 2013
Left: Nora Volkow speaking, and right: Steven W. Gust, Ph.D. and Adrian Dunlop, M.B.B.S., Ph.D. Left, NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D., opens the plenary session at the 2013 NIDA International Forum. Right, NIDA International Program Director Steven W. Gust, Ph.D. (left), and Adrian Dunlop, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., the past president of the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and Other Drugs (APSAD). NIDA and APSAD cosponsored the Forum.

NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D., opened the 18th Annual NIDA International Forum, reviewing the Institute’s international research priorities, binational agreements, and research training fellowships. Dr. Volkow highlighted the global reach of the 6 NIDA International Program fellowships, which have supported 408 drug abuse professionals from 103 countries, and invited suggestions on how to increase the impact of the research training fellowships. She added that there has been a lack of qualified candidates for the NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellowships recently and asked participants to encourage applications from their colleagues.

NIDA International Program Director Steven W. Gust, Ph.D., chaired the meeting, which was cosponsored by the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and Other Drugs (APSAD) and focused on research partnerships that successfully design, test, evaluate, and implement evidence-based drug abuse interventions and policies. More than 285 participants from 52 countries attended the meeting June 14–17, 2013, in San Diego, California. A joint College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD)/NIDA International Forum poster session featured presentations on international research by 139 scientists from the United States and 39 other countries.

The plenary session also featured updates on new collaborations and research initiatives from the World Health Organization, the European Research Area Network on Illicit Drugs (ERANID), and the Italian Department of Anti-Drug Policies and two plenary panel discussions on (1) using performance and outcome data to assess treatment services; and (2) the role of Cochrane Collaboration systematic reviews of evidence-based interventions on international treatment guidelines and U.S. health care reform. In addition to the plenary and poster sessions, six breakout sessions explored aspects of evidence-based addiction treatment in more depth, focusing on (1) screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment; (2) international networking and the global need for data in drug policy; (3) initiatives to advance translational research, training, and international collaboration among Asian American/Pacific Islanders; (4) strategies to promote adoption of evidence-based clinical practices; (5) using the Clinical Trials Network model to improve treatment; and (6) the future of addiction research and treatment.