Message from Mike Rizzi

Dear International Colleagues:

AATOD and its International Committee have been working with our associates throughout the world since the 1989 Northeast Regional Conference in Rhode Island. At that time, the precursor to EUROPAD organized an international session which was featured during our conference with reports from more than eight countries.

This work has broadened over the years, most especially in forming the World Federation for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence in 2007 during the EUROPAD conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

AATOD and EUROPAD subsequently submitted an application to the Non-Governmental Organizations branch of the Department of Economic and Social Policy at the United Nations to obtain a Special Consultative Status, which was approved during 2011.

We have been working with representatives from UN agencies, especially the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in producing our conferences in the United States and in working in collaboration with governments in different parts of the world. Illustratively, the World Federation for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence served as a co-sponsor with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, along with the State Service of the Ukraine on Drug Control, in developing a conference, “Ukrainian Society and Drugs: Building a New Strategic Approach”, which convened in Kiev during May 2012. The Ukrainian government is working to expand access to Medication Assisted Treatment for opioid addiction as a method of protecting the health of its citizens.

We have also participated in the recent EUROPAD conference in Pisa as a method of further solidifying our mutual objectives in ensuring that people get access to Medication Assisted Treatment for opioid addiction wherever it is needed in the world.

We are also working with our international partners in convening a World Federation session at the beginning of our approaching conference in Philadelphia on November 10, 2013. This will feature presentations from our European associates in addition to our colleagues from Asia and Africa.

From our point of view, this international cooperation is extremely important in ensuring access to good quality care.

Sincerely yours,

Mike Rizzi
AATOD International Chair

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