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First Global Conference On Methamphetamine

Press Release
Wednesday, June 4,2008

First Global Conference On Methamphetamine To Convene In Prague, Czech Republic, On September 15-16, 2008

Experts in Science, Public Health, Government, Drug Policy, Treatment, Prevention, Law Enforcement, and the Private Sector Will Meet to Examine the Intersection between Methamphetamine, Public Health, Law Enforcement, and Civil Society.

PRAGUE, Czech Republic, June 4 ­­­­-- As the use of methamphetamine and other amphetamine-type stimulants proliferates across the globe, there is an emerging consensus among experts that methamphetamine use is a unique and complex problem that presents a significant challenge to existing philosophies and strategies. The First Global Conference on Methamphetamine will provide an arena for the world’s foremost scientists, leaders and professionals working on issues of drug use to come together to discuss a wide variety of topics centering around methamphetamine. The Conference will take place in Prague’s Historic City Hall on September 15 – 16 (Monday & Tuesday), 2008.

As the first event to gather global experts from a wide diversity of fields, the conference is assured to be an unparalleled event. Confirmed speakers from USA, China, Australia, Thailand, Russia, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, New Zealand, Indonesia, Poland, Iran, Serbia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Great Britain and the United Nations will address the conference theme of “Science, Strategy and Response.” Representatives from international agencies, civil society, academia, science, law enforcement and others will have the unique opportunity to discuss key issues including: Treatment, HIV, Trafficking, Production, Environmental Impact, Law Enforcement, Policy, Current Research, Regional Updates, and Innovative Global Approaches.
According to estimates by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Health Organization (WHO): More individuals worldwide now use stimulants than opiates and cocaine combined. Methamphetamine is the most widely used illicit drug in the world except for cannabis. Over 26 million individuals used amphetamine-type stimulants in 2006.

Established trends show methamphetamine use to be widespread in North American, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand; while India, Pakistan, Eastern Europe, the Russian Federation Sub-Saharan Africa and Western Europe represent emerging markets or areas of perceived risk. Yet the development of appropriate and effective responses to stimulants lags. In most cases, treatment and prevention are inappropriately modeled on opiate and alcohol treatment, ignoring both the physical properties of the drug itself, and the fact that methamphetamine use patterns vary widely, and effective responses must be tailored to the unique needs of regions, cultures, and individual users. A lack of infrastructure, of funding, and of experts trained specifically in methamphetamine response compounds the problem.
As nations struggle to develop appropriate responses to methamphetamine, it is crucial that the most current scientific research, information, and best practices be available to those seeking to implement solutions. The primary goal of the First Global Conference on Methamphetamine is to provide a context for this important work to take place.

Featured Speakers Will Include:

- Apinun Aramrattana, MD, PhD, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai
- Jeremy Douglas. Manager, Global SMART Program, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Vienna

- Ahmed Elkashef, M.D. Division of Pharmacotherapies & Medical Consequences, NIDA, Washington, D.C.

- Carl Hart, PhD, Professor, Neuroscience Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York

- Evgeny Krupitsky, MD, PhD, Prof., Bekhterev Research Psychoneurological Institute, St. Petersburg

- Prof. Lin Lu, MD, PhD, Director, National Institute of Drugs and Development, Beijing

- Donald Rothenbaum, Senior Vice President, Network Environmental Systems, San Diego

- Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch, MSW, Director, Open Society's Institute's Global Drug Policy Program, Warsaw

- Azarakhsh Mokri, MD, Iranian Nation Center for Addiction Studies, Tehran

- Ethan Nadelmann, JD, Executive Director, Drug Policy Alliance, New York

- Caitlin Padgett, Coordinator and Founder of Youth R.I.S.E., Vancouver

- Andreas Plüddemann, Senior Scientist, Alcohol & Drug Abuse Research Unit Medical, Cape Town

- Richard Rawson, PhD, UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, Los Angeles

- Michael Siever, PhD, Director of The Stonewall Project, San Francisco

- Pavlo Smyrnov, MPH., Deputy Executive Director, International HIV/AIDS Alliance, Kiev

- Alex Wodak, MD, Director, Alcohol and Drug Services Vincent's Hospital, Sydney

- Chris Wilkins, PhD, Senior Researcher & Drugs Team Leader at SHORE/Whariki, Massey University, Auckland

- Gady Zabicky, MD, Centro Nacional para la Prevención y Control del VIH/SIDA, Mexico City

- Tomas Zabransky, MD, PhD, R and D Manager, Centre for Addictology, Charles University, Prague

FOR MEDIA: The major sessions of the conference are open to reporters. Site visits, photo opportunities and interviews can be arranged. For journalists not traveling to Prague, interviews and briefings with key spokespeople and presenters can be arranged on request.

Sponsors and Partners include: The Czech Republic, Charles University, the City of Prague, Network Environmental Systems, Podane Ruce, Cranstoun Drug Services, Sananim, Institute Scan, Systems, Inc, and The Thorne Group.



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