In an exciting "first" for both organizations WOCAD and ICAA delivered a highly successful Convention on Women in Addiction. Aimed at practitioners, policy-makers and hands-on researchers, and focussing uniquely on Women, the Programme was structured around the practical exploration of four broad topic areas :
- Women in Treatment
- Women and Adolescence
- Women and Social Issues
- Education and Prevention for women
Over two days each of these topics was explored through the delivery of a series of brief plenary papers followed by practice-focussed workshops run by the plenary presenters.
Speakers from across the globe shared with participants their expertise and methodology in delivering innovative responses to the challenge of providing gender-responsive services to the communities in which they work.
By exploring the barriers created by gender, ethnicity, religion, prejudice and even geography, the convention provided participants with opportunities to acquire unique insights and to explore the transferability of innovative and effective approaches to the challenge of addictive behaviours from across the world.
In a wide ranging programme the convention explored issues such as :
- Similarities and differences in responding to circumpolar issues for practitioners from the Same and Inuit communities.
- Problems for and responses to women from African communities in the context of both local and migrant communities.
- Managing the consequential effects of substance use, such as foetal alcohol syndrome.
- Gender-related prescribing practices and dealing in prescription drugs
- Issues in recovery and life after addiction
- Issues in prevention ranging from substance use to sexual abuse
This convention explored the practical challenges of responding to addiction issues facing women. Workers, researchers and policy-makers dealing with all age groups and ethnicities, from the very young to the very old, and from isolated communities to migrant groups seeking to exist in urban communities, benefited from the new knowledge, the networking and the enhancement of understanding gained from this unique sharing of expertise from across the globe.
The Convention was considered highly successful and will provide a model for further and larger events to be scheduled for the coming years.
The Convention produced a series of Resolutions laying down challenges for the global community in pursuing the development of effective responses to addiction issues facing women in the 2020s.
In the months and years to come ICAA will , through its committees and in partnership with all relevant agencies, work to ensure the attainment of these goals.