17th International EWODOR Symposium

On September 20 and 21, the 17th EWODOR International Symposium was held at Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Ghent (Belgium)

EWODOR symposium

Pathways and challenges to addiction recovery: the role of treatment, self-help and other mechanisms of change

By Antonio J. Molina – EWODOR is the oldest European network dedicated to addiction research on addictive behaviours, and more specifically to the therapeutic community and other recovery-based treatment models. The symposium’s theme was:  “Pathways and challenges to addiction recovery: the role of treatment, self-help and other mechanisms of change”

Programme and scientific committee

The symposium made it possible to ascertain the value of recovery-based treatment models and their current technical and scientific background. There is now a wealth of academic presentations and publications that address recovery-based addiction treatment programmes grounded in comprehensive perspectives rather than simply biomedical ones. Concepts such as recovery, rehabilitation, social capital and support, detoxification and empowerment have been fully integrated into the various publications and research studies that were presented at this symposium.

Top-level researchers including Wouter Vanderplasschen, Catherine Comiskey, Rowdy Yates, David Best and Lies Gremeaux have presented their work and studies. Lastly, the Chief of Drug Prevention and Health Branch of UNODC, Dr. Gilberto Gerra, also spoke of the United Nations commitment to the recovery of people with addiction problems.

Especially emotional was the moment when participants honoured the memory of the late Dr. Eric Broekaert, former president of EWODOR, who passed away in 2016, while attending the EWODOR annual meeting in Rome. It was a meaningful tribute from all his colleagues and friends.

It also should be noted that a meeting of the Board of Directors of the European Federation of Therapeutic Communities (EFTC) was also held in this occasion.

Dianova was one of the many organizations that were actively involved in this symposium, with the presentation of the study “Needs assessment for Recovery and Reintegration in the community”. The Dianova network’s representatives were Michele Bellasich from Dianova Sweden, Antonio J. Molina from Dianova Spain, and Kenneth Arctander, from the Norwegian organization RIO, associate member of the Dianova Network.