Welcome address from Dr Alex Baldacchino, isamDUNDEE2015 President

Alex BOn behalf of the local organising committees, we cordially invite you to isamDUNDEE2015, the 17th International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM) World Congress in 2015 in Dundee, Scotland. The running theme for this congress will be ‘Addiction: From Biology to Recovery – Translating research evidence to improve clinical practice and community resilience’

A core concept emerging from scientific advances over the past decade is that dependence/addiction is fundamentally a chronic relapsing brain condition that develops over time as a result of a combination of pre-morbid vulnerabilities and chronic use of psychoactive substances (or equivalent). The consequence to some is an uncontrollable compulsive like dysfunctional behaviour that will severely impact on the individual’s day to day existence within one’s own immediate family and surrounding community. Understanding resilience is not to eliminate stress or erase life’s difficulties. Instead, it gives people the strength to tackle problems, overcome adversity and move on with their lives.

The isamDUNDEE2015 Congress scientific programme topic domains were planned in order to allow delegates to participate in a four day extravaganza of evidence based presentations that are clinically relevant and supporting recovery capital. In order to help the local community engage with this event we are supporting local organisations and communities to actively inspire and participate in an Art and Culture Festival which will be officially opened during isamDUNDEE2015 Congress.

This ISAM World Congress is hosted by the Division of Neuroscience, Medical Research Institute, University of Dundee.  The Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, also from the University of Dundee, is co-ordinating the Art and Culture Festival. We are fortunate to have the support of Dundee City Council, VisitScotland Business Tourism, NHS Scotland, Dundee and Angus Convention Bureau and Starkevents who provide us with constant support and expertise to help deliver a congress that is unique in its style, excellent in its content and memorable in its experience.

isamDUNDEE2015 Congress will also incorporate the 14th Centre of Addiction Research and Education Scotland (CARES) annual conference entitled ‘Novel Interventions in the substance misuse field’. We also welcome the International Nurses Society on Addictions (IntNSA) and the Royal College of Psychiatrists UK (RCPsych) who are also contributing to the scientific programme. We thank all sponsors and acknowledge the multitude of local and national organisations supporting this event. We are looking forward to welcome you all in Dundee!

In typical Scottish tradition we invite you to take advantage of the hospitality being offered; from a free Scottish airport transfer to Dundee and back and opportunities in our social programmes which will include tasting local cuisine and participating to Scottish traditional music amongst many other activities in place for isamDUNDEE2015 delegates. I also encourage visitors to plan a longer stay before or after this congress to find the time to soak up the culture, landscape and people that this country has to offer.

Scotland welcomes you in 2015!