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Spring Newsletter 2019

Regional Activities

4th Annual ICUDDR Conference

On July 21-23, 2019, the 4th Annual ICUDDR Conference will be held at the Conference Center in Cusco, Peru.  The event will include excellent keynote speakers, breakout sessions in both English and Spanish, and Master courses by esteemed teachers and trainers from around the world.  Join us for such interesting courses as: Harm Reduction and Risk Reduction in the framework of University courses; Determinants of Internship/Practicum for Addiction Studies; Building International Capacity for Research Training in Addiction Science; Building Trauma-Informed Treatment in Clinical Practice: A Curriculum for Addictions and Mental Health Students and Counselors; Accreditation of Degree Programs in Drug Abuse: Challenges and the Need for Advocacy.  Register at:
Universidad Andina del Cusco
Republic of Peru
Founded: July 28, 1821

Population: 32.16 million
GDP: $239.33 billion USD
Area: 496,225 sq miles
Capital: Lima 
Peru, officially the Republic of Peru, is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is a megadiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river.


** This excerpt is from an ICUDDR Blog Post. 

Why Is It So Hard to Implement Evidence Based Practices?

by Kim Johnson

When I was getting my first graduate degree to become a child and family therapist, I took a class in addiction studies and completed my internship in an addiction treatment program. When I was hired for my first job as a family therapist working with families at risk of losing their children to child protective services due to child abuse or neglect, I never assessed parents for substance use disorders, never raised substance use as a possible underlying cause of child neglect and never recognized obvious signs of substance misuse like lots of empty alcohol containers piled up in the kitchen sink.

Now you may think, “What a terrible therapist Kim was!” And probably you are right, but I was a new therapist practicing as part of a team and I adopted the practices of my work team rather than using the knowledge I gained through my education. And that is the norm. Our students go from our academic environment where we try to fill them with as much knowledge of best practice and science into work places whose practices may have been established for many years with little change. If our program graduates are to succeed in the workplace, they adopt the norms and fulfill the expectations of the workplace regardless of what they learned in school. Otherwise they would not stay employed for very long! 

So, providing good science based education is only a first step. Engaging with community providers, offering to sponsor continuing education, to provide technical assistance in adopting new practices, to work with clinical supervisors to support students and new practitioners in utilizing evidence based practices are all necessary practices to ensure your graduates are able to use the great education that you gave them.  You may be thinking, “But Kim, I can barely keep up with my workload now, how am I to conduct all these additional duties?”

To read the rest of this post, use this link ICUDDR Blog Post

Want to guest blog?  We would love to hear from you!  Email Cary at  

Additional posts:

- Welcome to the first ICUDDR blog post

- Addiction is a Disease

Member Profile

The Catholic University "Nuestra Señora de la Asunción" (UC), distinguished with the “Top of the Mind” Award in March 2019, is developing several training courses and specializations in the Prevention and Treatment of Addictions. These will be offered through the Department of Psychology in the coming year. Established in 1963 as the first in the country to initiate university studies in psychology, the department is currently under the direction of Diana S. Lesme Romero, who has been working with ICUDDR since its foundation and is currently a member of the ICUDDR Board of Directors.

Since its conception and designation as an entity of higher education by the Catholic hierarchy of Paraguay in 1960, The Catholic University has maintained a clear commitment to educational excellence and to fostering the intellectual, scientific and cultural education of its students. Today, it spans 16 cities in territorial coverage, and its infrastructure has expanded to include six campuses and two academic units.

In November 2016, the School of Philosophy and Human Sciences of UC Asunción signed an Inter-Institutional Cooperation Agreement with the National Antidrug Secretariat (SENAD) to undertake joint efforts, harmonize policies and implement programs in the field of Universal Preventive Education in the abuse of drugs and the Universal Treatment Curriculum for people affected by drug use. In June 2017, UC-Asunción and the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States established a framework for cooperation and technical assistance to aid the execution of activities related to human resources training within the framework of the dissemination of the Universal Treatment and Universal Prevention Curricula in the hemisphere.

The university will utilize both the Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC) and Universal Prevention Curriculum (UPC) in the formulation of their programs. Beginning June 2019, undergraduate students from a variety of disciplines including psychology, nursing, and medicine will have the opportunity to participate in several Universal Treatment Curriculum courses and seminars. Also in June 2019, the university’s headquarters in Itapúa will use the UTC to pilot a Diploma of Counseling in Addiction Treatment program. A specialization in Addiction Counseling (Asunción headquarters) is currently under academic review and will begin accepting students in the 2020 academic year. 

For additional information, contact Lic. Diana S. Lesme Romero at

International Society of Substance Use Professionals
International Conference on Drug Prevention, Treatment and Care – Inspiration and Direction
will take place on July 1–5, 2019 at the Vienna International Centre in Vienna, Austria.  

Implementation Corner                                                                               
Changing Culture
For us to be able to create new programs, implement new curricula, and do successful workforce development in addiction studies, culture change is required.  Here are some tips on changing culture:
1. Identify and attack the root problems in the existing culture.  Do people not see the value in addiction studies?  Do they not believe there is a need or interest in addiction studies at your University?
2. Get people to come to your side.  Find allies, create supporters, and make champions.  Work to help people understand why the changes are needed.  Who has the most influence in your organization?  Can you get them to hear your ideas?
3. Provide people with information.  If there is an interest or need for addiction studies programs in your area, provide data.  
For questions about implementation that you would like answered, contact us at

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