ADDICTION 2023 is accredited to provide 20 CPD points for HPCSA (18 points for attendance and 2 Ethics points) & 12 CPD points for SACSSP.

Objectives identified and agreed upon:

  • To address research gaps to improve access to best practice prevention and treatment services oriented along public health principles.
  • To ensure that dual diagnosis, co-occurring disorders, and cross addictions are addressed in the management of SUD.
  • To ensure that capacity building of the SUD workforce is strengthened for at all appropriate levels and applicable disciplines.
  • To enhance local, regional and international coordination and collaboration in Drug Demand Reduction.

please click on the tab for each day of the conference and select the underlined session to view more information.

You can check your local time using TimeandDate.com.

Expected Outcome of the Conference 

There are many barriers for people to access treatment and the ADDICTION 2023 Conference promises to close some of the gaps through:

  • Presenting research on evidence-based programmes proven to be effective when treating people with mild, moderate, or severe substance use disorder.
  • Exploring evidence-based prevention programmes that can scientifically proof that prevention works and is a more cost-effective approach.
  • Educating delegates on the specific methamphetamine-type stimulant substances, other substances, and the link with co-occurring disorders (dual diagnosis/cross addictions).
  •  Exploring harm reduction strategies that are scientific in reducing the harms caused by alcohol and all other substances.
  • Exploring post-treatment maintenance and re-integration strategies.
  • Defining clinical outcomes associated with SUD treatment.
  • Understanding the needs of women in treatment programmes to ensure gender-responsive programmes that are evidence-based are offered.
  • Introducing alternative treatment interventions like opioid substitution therapy and other harm reduction interventions that has been accepted on a legislative level, but not accepted by all.
  • Discussing the latest changes to legislation and policies and how it relates to implementation and affects practice on grass roots levels.
  •  Collaborating between all stakeholders and partners from International, continental, national and local levels to bring solutions to the challenges face in preventing and treating substance use disorders. 


  TRACK 1: Promotion and Prevention strategies, models, approaches and Interventions -Prevention as a Science


  • Research on evidence-based prevention strategies, models, approaches and interventions.
  • Capacity building for prevention specialists.
  • Legislation and funding of promotion and prevention of substance use/misuse and substance use disorders. 


The UNODC provides guidelines through the International standards on Drug Use Prevention. 

Colombo Plan developed the Universal Prevention Curriculum to train prevention specialists to implement evidence-based programmes in various settings.

ISSUP Global also introduced the INEP Plus online course that provides specialists with the basic understanding of prevention as a science. 

The NDMP 2019 to 2024 supports and encourages prevention as well as the Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse Act 70 of 2008. 

All of these guidelines, legislation and programmes have one thing in common and that is to prevent the onset of SUD. Furthermore, to save costs as R1 spend towards prevention initiatives, saves the country R10 in future addiction costs. 

  1. Why then do we not see a reduction of young people experimenting with substances and the mean age becoming younger? 
  2. How do we use technology to communicate these prevention messages to the youth? What has worked in other Countries? 
  3. How do we build on protective factors/the shields? What works from young person’s perceptive? 

We are running focus groups to hear from them what is most effective, realistic and practical.

  TRACK 2: Treatment and Recovery, models, approaches and Interventions – A Substance use disorder is treatable.


  • Research on evidence-based treatment strategies, models, approaches and interventions.
  • Capacity building for treatment specialists.
  • Legislation and funding of treatment and recovery of substance use/misuse and substance use disorders.


NIDA published the 13 principles of effective treatment of SUD. If we compare with these principles in South Africa, we fall short on many of them, such as; treatment is not readily available, co-occurring disorders are not always treated simultaneously for service users with a mental health condition and/or a physical conditions, no individual treatment is available, progammes are not always based on research and evidence, the length of treatment is short term, monitoring and measurement of success is still difficult, changing the negative mindset of society that this is a brain disease that needs comprehensive and holistic treatment methods and multi-sectoral commitments, and no or limited access to affordable chronic medications for maintenance and preventing overdoses. Reducing the harm caused by legal and illegal substances must be considered if an impact is to be made on the direct and indirect costs to society with such a pandemic. Differences need to be set aside to find innovative ideas on providing treatment with new designer substances linked to mental health conditions. There needs to be holistic treatment of individuals and which addresses all their needs from personal, legal, housing, financial, relational, etc. 

The increase in competency of treatment specialists must be a priority for this conference. We need to ensure that SBIRT is second nature for staff in community clinics, hospitals, treatment centres, NPOs from different sectors, workplaces, etc. Examples of best practice models must be explored on how treatment can evolve to meet the needs of the service users and their loved ones. Capacity building for treatment specialists Legislation and funding of treatment and recovery of substance use/misuse and substance use disorders SANCA.


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