Methadone Treatments, Gambling Study Highlight International Session

An annual Med-Sci symposium that showcases research from around the world will look at controlling HIV in Vietnam, gambling patterns in Canada, and links between injection drug use and HIV in Russia.

Speakers will discuss their research during Symposium 5, “International Perspectives on Addiction Medicine,” from 10 am to noon Saturday in Orange Ballroom B, Lower Level. The session is co-sponsored by the International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

“There has been a remarkable growth in internationally grounded addiction research complimenting that done here in the United States. Because that research opens doors to concepts and treatment approaches that materially augment what we do here in the U.S., it is of particular value to our members and attendees. This work is often a source for new options for treatment or research among ASAM members and other conference attendees,” said Marc Galanter, MD, FASAM, ABAM Diplomate, one of the session organizers.

Presenting research about HIV in Vietnam will be Gavin Bart, MD, PhD, FASAM, ABAM Diplomate, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota. He will compare Vietnam’s treatment with that used in the United States.

“The presentation will illustrate how we can disseminate American treatment approaches to a culture that is very different and is typically characterized by being in the developing world,” Dr. Galanter said.

Nady el-Guebaly, MD, FASAM, ABAM Diplomate, Professor and Head, Division of Addiction, Department of Psychiatry at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, will present findings on longitudinal studies on gambling in Canada. He also will review information on ISAM’s recently published Textbook on Addiction Treatment: International Perspectives.

“Gambling addiction has gained interest and prominence in the United States,” Dr. Galanter said. “The work done in Canada is unusually thorough in lending an understanding to the life course of gambling and attempts of compulsive gamblers at being treated.”

Looking at injection drug use in Russia and its relation to HIV will be Jeffrey Samet, MD, MA, MPH, ABAM Diplomate, Professor of Medicine and Community Health Services at Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health.

“The unique aspect of the situation in Russia is that methadone maintenance is not accepted there, so it is necessary to consider approaches we prefer to be secondary in the United States but need to be primary there, such as depot naltrexone treatment,” Dr. Galanter said.

Following their presentations, the speakers will join a panel to discuss their research and answer questions from the audience.

“In this session, we try to present the most recent findings on international studies and projects.” Dr. Galanter said. “We survey research and treatment initiatives worldwide to select three areas that would be most useful to our attending members. All of these projects have unique characteristics makes them interesting.”