ICAA Conference: Cancun, Mexico

By Mary Jo Mather, Executive Director

In early November, I represented IC&RC at the 53rd International Council on Alcohol and Addictions (ICAA) conference in Cancun, Mexico. The theme of this year’s ICAA conference was “New Challenges-New Answers.” Approximately 1,500 addiction professionals were in attendance over the three-day conference. Trainers from around the globe presented plenary sessions including Dr. Andrea Barthwell (US), Dr. Vincenzo Pisani (US), David Templeman (Australia), Dr. Petra Meier (UK), Dr. Victor Manuel Marquez Soto (Mexico), Dr. Jose Armando Salazar Ascencio (Chile), Dr. Thomas Legl (Austria), and Dwight Rodrick (Switzerland). 

Session topics were The Road to Best Practice – Is it Science or is it Marketing?; Marco Political and New Regulatory Approaches to Address Addictions; Family Therapy; Tobacco Dependence; Public Policies; Women and Gender Issues; The Impact of Advertising on Consumption; Alcohol, Drugs and the Global Movement of People; Alcohol and Drug Treatment; Best Practices from Around the World – How To Adopt Them In Different Settings; Alcohol and Drug Prevention; Ethnic Dimensions of Addiction; Alcohol and Drug Problems in Business and Industry; Criminal Justice – Changing Conditions in Prison Treatment; Other Addictions; Therapeutic Communities; Cultural, Social and Economic Differences and Their Impact on Alcohol Consumption and Policy;  Addiction Research and Practice – How Useful is Research; WHO Global Strategy; Redefining Harm Reduction in the Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Fields; WHO Global Alcohol Strategy; Innovative Prevention Approaches Working in Mexico and Latin America; Stimulants; Marijuana; Universal, Selective and Indicative Prevention Strategies in Latin America; Accessibility of Licit and Illicit Drugs on the Internet and Early Warning Systems; Addiction Care and Media; The Way Forward in Public Health; and Looking Forward – New Directions.

Most of the attendees were treatment and prevention professionals from Mexico.  I had the unique opportunity to speak with many of these individuals and promote certification through IC&RC’s member board in Mexico, the Mexican Certification Board for Professionals on Addiction, Alcoholism and Tobacco.  Many were aware of a credentialing process in Mexico but unsure what was required for certification.  Of great interest was the written examination, along with preparation strategies for taking the exam.

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