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Random thoughts, from home and abroad.

The inaugural U.K./European Symposium on Addictive Disorders was held in the shadow of Westminster Abbey in London from April 28-May 1. Exceeding everyone's expectations, the conference drew nearly 400 people, including several dozen exhibitors.

I found attendees to be hungry for information and eager to learn about what is working in treatment and prevention in the United States. The United Kingdom seems to be facing many of the same phenomena found in the U.S.--growing adolescent use, increased awareness of elderly alcoholism, too little money to treat too many people. Observers noted that the field is actually 20 to 25 years behind the U.S. in issues such as credentialing and professional education.

The conference will reconvene next year, and I recommend it as an opportunity to learn and to teach. For more information, send an e-mail to ukesad@addictiontoday.co.uk.

The week before the London conference, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) held its 35th annual Medical-Scientific Conference in Washington, D.C., after missing last year's scheduled Toronto event because of the SARS outbreak in Canada. This year's conference was well-attended and was capped by a black-tie dinner celebrating ASAM's 50th anniversary.

Award recipients at the ASAM gala event were White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Deputy Director Andrea G. Barthwell, M.D.; American Association for the Advancement of Science CEO Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.; and Brown University Professor of Medicine and Community Health and nationally known field leader David C. Lewis, M.D. Congratulations to all the winners.

I call your attention to a commendable work on adolescent substance abuse: Teens Under the Influence: The Truth About Kids, Alcohol and Other Drugs--How to Recognize the Problem and What to Do About It. Primarily aimed at parents, this well-researched and thoroughly documented volume is written by Katherine Ketcham and Nicholas A. Pace. M.D. It's a comprehensive reference for parents looking for information on recognizing and dealing with the problem in children. It's also an excellent book for educators and health care professionals working with teens.

Clearly presented information is interspersed with personal case studies and first-person accounts from children and parents. The book is published by Ballantine Books (www.ballantinebooks.com; $14.95 in U.S., $22.95 in Canada). It is available in bookstores.

This issue of Addiction Professional contains a report on the second annual Providence Summit on Addiction. Representatives of more than four dozen national organizations have sought to build on last year's field consensus on an advocacy message. This year the delegates focused on collaborating to deliver the message. We cannot overemphasize the importance of this group's deliberations in a field that sorely needs more effective advocacy.

Fraser A. Lang

Publisher

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Title Annotation:Letter From the Publisher
Author:Lang, Fraser A.
Publication:Addiction Professional
Article Type:Editorial
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2004
Words:458
Previous Article:Seven Tools to Beat Addiction.
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