The complex Phenomenon of Addictions

Dianova took part in the 12th Annual Drug Addiction Conference organized by the University of Barcelona and Projecte Home Catalunya

Addiction image

Lucía Goberna, representing Dianova, presented some data that show the concerning trend of addictive behaviours among young people. – Image: CC

As every year, the conference has focused on aspects of drug addiction to enhance the knowledge of young students at the University of Barcelona (particularly in the Faculty of Psychology) as well as professionals in the field of addictions who require continuous training on this complex phenomenon.

The conference has been organized in two separate days (November 20 and 27, 2020) and have addressed topics such as ICT abuse, dual pathologies, problematic uses in the youth, and the need for specialized and individualized treatment plans. In its twelfth edition, it has had to adapt to the limitations posed by COVID and has been held virtually.

Dianova was specifically involved in the round table on November 20, 2020, on “the complex phenomenon of addictions” that was attended by 109 people. The event featured an official opening by the Dean of the Faculty of Psychology, Dr. Antonio Solanas; the Director of Projecte Home Cataunya, Mr. Oriol Esculies; a representative from the Provincial Deputation of Barcelona, Ms. Lluïsa Moret; and a representative from the Department of Social Affairs and Families of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Ms. Marta Cassan. The roundtable was chaired by Dr. Ana Adan, a Professor in the Faculty of Psychology and the Institute of Neurosciences at the University of Barcelona.

Current status

Lucía Goberna, in charge of institutional relations at Dianova, presented the latest world and European data on the drug issue, focusing on aspects related to demand reduction, such as the latest data on drug use, its effects on health and more holistic aspects to take into account. In addition, she brought current topics to the table, such as international debates on the medical use of cannabis and the effects of COVID. More specifically, Lucía Goberna focused on the current status of treatment options (which main substances cause admissions for treatment in different parts of the world and the availability and quality of treatment) and concluded by presenting some data that show the concerning trend of addictive behaviours among young people.

The different sides of addiction

Following up was a lecture by Oriol Esculies, Director of Projecte Home Catalunya, who spoke about “the different sides of addiction” presenting eight real cases of people who are undergoing treatment in his organization, the problem that motivated their admission to treatment, key aspects about the people to consider when designing interventions (economic and family environment and situation, etc.), and lastly presented the type of intervention and work that is being carried out with each of these people in particular.


For example, he discussed cases of dual pathology, such as problematic uses amongst the migrant population, including problematic alcohol use in rural settings of people with very different profiles. It was an exercise in a humane and sensitive approach to the problem of addictions.

New addictions: abuse of ICT

Lastly, Jordi Bernabeu, a Psychologist from the Mental Health Division of the Althaia Foundation in Manresa, delivered a very clear perspective on the abuse of ICTs. Jordi Bernabeu raised very interesting questions and concepts, such as, the need to discern between the overuse of ICTs and addiction to ICTs, examples of improper use by the adult population and fearmongering on young people’s behaviour. He also called on the need to take into consideration the positive aspects of social networks in the context of the pandemic, for example. This is an area in which improvement in diagnosis and treatment is fundamental.

It was an interesting event in which different subjects were addressed, allowing to have an overview on some of the many components of the complex phenomenon of addiction.

The second day of the conference took place on November 27, addressing groups in vulnerable situations, with a focus on aspects of dual pathology, teenagers with problematic uses, and gender and reinsertion topics.

It is the second year that Dianova attended these sessions at the University of Barcelona. The last time was in 2018 in the conference dedicated to “Values, health, and addictions in the Catalonia of the Future”. From Dianova we say thanks for the invitation and congratulate the organizers for the effort involved in these conferences, which have already become a benchmark in Catalonia.

XII Jornada de Drogodependències