To all our ISSUP members, we are wishing you well during these challenging times. We understand that the current environment makes the wonderful work you are doing even harder.

Addiction Psychiatry and COVID-19 – Impact on Patients and Service Provision

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly had a major impact on the provision of physical healthcare in Ireland and worldwide. The mental health impact of this pandemic cannot be underestimated, particularly relating to patients suffering with addiction.

Heightened public stress and anxiety levels, increasing isolation and the physical consequences of addiction play a large role in the proliferation and ongoing relapse of substance misuse and behavioural addiction. Service provision is an ongoing challenge due to the increasing need for services given the increased mental health burden of COVID-19 but also the restrictions in place in clinical areas to achieve social distancing.

The necessary adaptations to service provision provide opportunities for the analysis of current processes used in our addiction unit and the introduction of new processes to our service. The current crisis tests the sustainability of the service to provide the high standard of care required for these patients.

Read more...(PDF)

María del Carmen Gonzales Guillén

El excarcelar a "mulas" (personas que fueron detenidas llevando drogas a otros países por ordenes de una tercera persona), se esta llevando a cabo en muchos países como en Ecuador y México, y con la situación social actual por motivo del COVID-19 otros países lo debaten también. 

Video: UNODC Ecuador COVID-19 Training

 Webinar sobre buenas prácticas en atención de salud mental en centros residenciales en contexto del COVID-19

Agenda interna de trabajo




Inicio de enlace


Francis Negrete, especialista de UNODC, Ecuador

Palabras de bienvenida


Gabriela Vallejo, coordinadora de programa UNODC, Ecuador

Palabras de bienvenida del Ministerio de Salud Pública

Gobierno de Ecuador, Ministerio de Salud Pública (MSP)

Ignacia Páez, gerente del Proyecto de Salud Mental, MSP.

Palabras OMS, Ecuador


Adrián Diaz, asesor de Salud Comunitaria y Salud Mental, OMS, Ecuador

Palabras de CICAD


Jimena Kalawski, jefa de la Unidad de Reducción de la Demanda, Comisión Interamericana para el Control del Abuso de Drogas, CICAD / OAS

Sugerencias sobre servicios para personas con trastornos por consumo de drogas durante #COVID19


Anja Busse, Coordinadora Sección de Prevención, Tratamiento y Rehabilitación, UNODC, Viena, Austria

Exposición de buenas prácticas


Marta Torrens, docente Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, España

María Zarza, docente de la

Universidad de Valencia, España

Manuela Caldas Prieto, funcionaria de la Conselleria de Sanidad (Valencia), España

Preguntas de los participantes



Cierre y despedida del taller


Francis Negrete, especialista de UNODC, Ecuador


Screenshot UNODC Ecuador
Jose Luis Vazquez Martinez

Respuesta Integrada de la Secretaría General ante la crisis del COVID-19 Sala de Situación sobre Protección del Personal


"A Pandemic Within a Pandemic"- How Covid-19 Is Increasing Substance Abuse

In response to the global pandemic, people around the world have adjusted their ways of life. 

Governments have imposed restrictions on the time people can spend with one another, forcing people to find alternative means of communication and connection.

For people who use drugs or people who are going through recovery, this period of time is particularly challenging as opportunities for support and contact are reduced.

In this article Tim Ryan, addiction expert, describes his own experiences of addiction and recovery and reflects on the challenges that people who are struggling with drug addiction might experience during this pandemic.

EMCDDA webinar: Prevention of drug-related problems in the time of COVID-19: what can we learn?

Event Date

The EMCDDA is offering a new series of webinars around the theme of COVID-19. The purpose of the webinars is to help those working in the drugs field understand how drug users, and those supporting them, are coping with the pandemic and to share knowledge and experience. 

This third webinar takes place on 4 June on the theme of 'Prevention of drug-related problems in the time of COVID-19: what can we learn?' (13.00–14.30 CET – Brussels time).

A conversation with:

  • Rosaria Galanti, Adjunct Professor, Department of Global Public Health, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden;
  • Rachele Donini, Doctor Psychologist, Department of Mental Health and Addiction, ASL2 Savonese, Savona, Italy;
  • Peer van der Kreeft, Lecturer in Prevention, University College of Ghent, Belgium.

Chairpersons: Gregor Burkhart, Marica Ferri, EMCDDA

Format: The format of the webinar is an informal chat, during which each participant will talk in turn about how their ongoing activities are related to COVID-19. They will share their learning points so far and also try to imagine how the epidemic will change their work going forward ('the new normal').

Experiences from the US and Canada: Primary Prevention in a Post-Covid World

Event Date

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting pretty much everything these days including primary prevention. We at Planet Youth have been keeping in touch with our partners around the world to learn how the pandemic is affecting on-going Planet Youth projects and projects that are being started. 

We have learned that there is an interest amongst our partners and those working with primary prevention in learning what is going on in other countries and how COVID-19 is impacting public health in general and primary ATOD prevention specifically.

ICSRA would, therefore, like to invite you to a webinar Friday 29th of May 2020 at 12.00-13.00 EDT where a panel of Planet Youth partners from the US and Canada will discuss two questions:

  1. How is the COVID-19 pandemic impacting primary prevention?
  2. How is primary prevention going to develop in a post-COVID-19 world?

29TH OF MAY 2020, at 12.00 EDT

Webinar: Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Event Date

ISSUP Ukraine is pleased to invite you to attend a webinar on mental health issues in Ukraine during the COVID-19 epidemic. The webinar is scheduled to be presented on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm (Ukraine time)

June 3, 2020 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm (Ukraine time)

Click here to register!

Featured Speakers:

  • Alisa Ladyk-Bryzgalova, World Health Organization (office in Ukraine), «Psychosocial Aspects of COVID-19 Pandemic»
  • Robert van Voren, international foundation «Global Initiative on Psychiatry (GIP)», General Secretary, «International campaign "Mind the Gap" as a tool of destigmatization in the field of mental health»
  • Iryna Pinchuk, Institute of Psychiatry of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Director, «Risk perception, stress factors in healthcare professionals during COVID-19 pandemic»
  • Albert Feldman, Golda Meir Institute of Strategic Research, «Creation of a socio-psychological model of the hotline «Stop, Panic» in the conditions of quarantine measures of the COVID-19 pandemic»
Jose Luis Vazquez Martinez
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are responding to the COVID-19 crisis across diverse sectors, including health and medicine, scientific discovery and innovation, technology, transportation, and beyond.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources for the AOD Sector

The  National Center for Education and Training on Addiction ( NCETA), The National Drug and Alcohol Research Center (NDARC) and the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) have compiled a list of some online information and resources that may be of help to people working in the alcohol and other drug sector.

The resources are listed under:

  • Wellbeing

  • Information and training 

  • Support, counseling and treatment

When COVID-19 and Opioid Addiction Collide

We are witnessing, arguably, the greatest public health issue of our time. However, that is not to say the public health concerns that were present before the pandemic have disappeared.

Opioid addiction and opioid-related deaths continue to cause great harm to society.

This article discusses the way these two critical issues are interacting and causing damage to particularly vulnerable groups of people.

The author describes how social determinants- the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age- influence levels of risk and overall wellbeing.

He comments on the disruption to public health services and the negative impact forced isolation can have on those in recovery.

He concludes:

"If any good has come out of the misery of the combined COVID-19 and opioid epidemics, perhaps it is that a clear, bright light has been shined on the deadly social fissures — poverty, income inequality, lack of health insurance and access to healthcare, homelessness — that are the true social determinants of health we will need to address as part of an effective response to future pandemics."

Peter Grinspoon, MD Contributor

Video: Condiciones de Trabajo en Cuarentena, Pandemia y Adicciones

El 22 de mayo de 2020, ISSUP Argentina colaboró ​​con ISSUP Global para presentar un seminario web sobre condiciones de trabajo en cuarentena, pandemia y adicciones.

Expositores: Dres. Roberto Canay y Ernesto Eduardo González
Universidad del Museo Social Argentino (UMSA)

Roberto y EduardoA principios de la década de 2020, con la pandemia de COVID 19 y la cuarentena obligatoria, ha habido una gran proliferación de consecuencias en el lugar de trabajo y sus nuevos esquemas de adaptación, como el teletrabajo. Esta presentación documentó las consecuencias y los efectos de estas realidades y cómo afectan a los trabajadores, desde la perspectiva del análisis, con el objetivo de comprender cómo se organiza el trabajo remoto, cuando sus condiciones de trabajo se ven desafiadas por las propuestas de que propusieron un cambio en el trabajo tradicional. formato y las consecuencias del consumo problemático de sustancias psicoactivas en estas condiciones. Sugerimos que los programas de trabajo a distancia que promueven cambios en el formato laboral deberían proporcionar un acompañamiento a la gestión de aquellas empresas públicas o privadas que no tienen condiciones previas que les permitan apropiadamente y apropiadamente apropiarse de las innovaciones propuestas.

ISSUP Argentina

NIDA Director Outlines Potential Risks to People Who Smoke and Use Drugs During COVID-19 Pandemic

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.

However, those with underlying medical problems are more likely to develop serious illness.

In this article Dr. Volkow discusses how the serious health risks of COVID-19 pose unique challenges to people who smoke or vape, are already struggling with substance use disorders (SUD), or are in recovery from addiction.

Jose Luis Vazquez Martinez

Monday, May 18, 2020


Denise Paone, EdD, Senior Director of Research and Surveillance at NYC DOHMH and an NDEWS SCE


Michelle Nolan, Senior Epidemiologist

COVID-19: Potential Implications for Individuals with Substance Use Disorders

As people across the U.S. and the rest of the world contend with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), this article warns that the research community should be alert to the possibility that it could hit some populations with substance use disorders (SUDs) particularly hard.

Because it attacks the lungs, Dr. Nora D. Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) warns that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could be an especially serious threat to those who smoke tobacco or marijuana or who vape. People with opioid use disorder (OUD) and methamphetamine use disorder may also be vulnerable due to those drugs’ effects on respiratory and pulmonary health. 

Additionally, individuals with a substance use disorder are more likely to experience homelessness or incarceration than those in the general population, and these circumstances pose unique challenges regarding the transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19. All these possibilities should be a focus of active surveillance as we work to understand this emerging health threat.

Brian Morales

Video by the U.S.

Working with people who use drugs and who are homeless - SDF COVID-19 Webinar

COVID-19 and the lockdown present particular challenges for people affected by homelessness and substance use and services working with them. SDF's second free COVID-19 webinar included speakers from across Scotland describing local services responses from which other areas may learn and improve their service provision to a high risk vulnerable group. Speakers: - Dr John Budd, The Access Practice, Edinburgh - Hugh Hill, Director of Services and Development, Simon Community Scotland - Lynsey Allan, Substance Use and Homelessness Services Manager, Turning Point Aberdeen - Danny Kelly, Hillcrest Futures, Dundee Webinar held on the 24th of April 2020.

Motivational Interviewing Course: Assisting Patients in Making Sustainable Positive Lifestyle Changes

We invite you to register for this free webinar-based training course on Motivational Interviewing (MI). The three week series is presented by Igor Koutsenok, MD, MS, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego, Department of Psychiatry.

Igor Koutsenok ISSUP Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing is an essential, client-centered, counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence. We are absolutely thrilled to bring you this skills-building opportunity presented by a recognized expert in the field of MI.

The course consists of three consecutive weekly sessions to be held during June 2020 (see course descriptions and session dates below).

We highly encourage registration for all three sessions.

Course Description

This is a training in evidence-based clinical methods of motivational interviewing (MI). After orientation to the underlying spirit and principles of MI, practical exercises will help participants to strengthen empathy skills, recognize and elicit change talk, and roll with resistance. Research evidence will be reviewed for the efficacy of MI and for the importance of building therapeutic relationships in clients’ outcomes. Integration of MI with other treatment modalities will be considered.     

Course Objectives

The goal is to provide knowledge and practical skill training for various practitioners on effective ways to enhance motivation of patients with substance use disorders that require significant behavioral changes to initiate and sustain positive and healthy behavioral choices. Skill building, and experiential training will be emphasized throughout the course by exercises to develop a therapeutic alliance with patients, assess patient needs, level of engagement in treatment process, structure treatment sessions, select appropriate interventions, and assist patient in maintaining motivation for a sustainable behavioral change.

Participants will learn the basic and advanced skills in motivational interviewing and strategies for engaging patients in collaborative relationship in treatment process and assist them in achieving sustainable positive behavioral changes. The course will:

  1. Help participants to acquire a systemic perspective of motivational interviewing and other motivational enhancement strategies;
  2. Build necessary clinical skills and attitudes to implement new strategies in working with ambivalent patients.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, every participant will be able to:

  1. Describe all the aspects of the spirit of MI
  2. Explain the differences between MI and other counselling strategies
  3. Demonstrate the ability to respond to clients with reflective listening statements
  4. Identify change talk within client speech
  5. Generate open questions designed to elicit change talk
  6. Generate MI-consistent responses to client resistant statements
  7. Differentiate commitment language from other forms of change talk
  8. Provide and empathetic summary statements collecting change talk

Course Content, Dates & Registration

Session 1: Thursday June 4th 2020

Motivational Interviewing: Basic Understanding

After orientation to the underlying spirit and principles of MI, practical exercises will help participants to strengthen empathy skills, recognize and elicit change talk, and roll with resistance. Research evidence will be reviewed for the efficacy of MI and for the importance of building a therapeutic relationship in clients’ outcomes. Integration of MI with other treatment modalities will be considered.  

Learning outcomes:

  • Introduction: Motivation and behavioral change in addiction medicine
  • Review of the concepts of Ambivalence, Stages of change, the righting reflex, limits of persuasion.
  • Spirit of MI
  • Expressing empathy
  • Roadblocks to communication
  • Four Processes in MI

Time: 9am Pacific / 12pm Eastern / 5pm London

Duration: 1 hour


Session 2: Thursday June 11th 2020

Fundamental Skills in MI - OARS

This session will focus on Fundamental Skills in MI (OARS), providing practical exercises to help participants to strengthen empathy skills, recognize and elicit change talk, and roll with resistance. Participants will learn strategies for engaging patients in a collaborative relationship in the treatment process and assist them in achieving sustainable positive behavioral changes. Research evidence will be reviewed for the efficacy of MI and for the importance of building a therapeutic relationship in clients’ outcomes. Integration of MI with other treatment modalities will be considered.    

Learning outcomes:

  • Open and closed ended questions
  • Affirmations
  • Summaries
  • Rowing with OARS

Time: 9am Pacific / 12pm Eastern / 5pm London

Duration: 1 hour


Session 3: Thursday June 18th 2020

Fundamental Skills in MI Continued

This third and final session will continue to focus on MI fundamentals, with a focus on more advanced skills and the integration of MI with other strategies and treatment modalities. Research evidence will be reviewed for the efficacy of MI and for the importance of building therapeutic relationship in clients’ outcomes.       

Learning outcomes:

  • Recognition and responding to change talk and sustain talk
  • Forming reflections
  • Levels of reflections
  • Recognizing readiness
  • Initial and intermediate planning
  • Integration with other skills and strategies

Time: 9am Pacific / 12pm Eastern / 5pm London

Duration: 1 hour


We look forward to you joining us for these virtual sessions! Please contact info [at] issup [dot] net if you have any questions.

About Professor Koutsenok

Dr. Igor Koutsenok is а Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego, Director of the Center for Addiction Research, Training and Application, Director of the SAMHSA PEPFAR International Addiction Technology Transfer Center-Ukraine, and a co-director of the SAMHSA PEPFAR South East Asia Addiction Technology Transfer Center. He is also a Vice-President of the International Consortium of Universities on Drug Demand Reduction.

In 1983 he graduated as a medical doctor from the National Medical University in Kiev, (Ukraine). In 1986, he completed his psychiatry residency training and received degree as psychiatrist from the Medical University in Sofia (Bulgaria). In 1993-1996 he received a degree in addiction psychiatry at the University of London, Department of Addictive Behavior and Psychological Medicine at St. Georges Hospital Medical School. In 1996, he was recruited by the University of California San Diego, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and since then he serves as faculty member of the Department. In 2013-2016 he served as Chief of Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, United Nations Office in Vienna.

Over the last 25 years Dr. Koutsenok led the design and implementation of multiple training and technical assistance programs for mental health and addiction treatment practitioners, primary health care and social work practitioners, criminal justice professionals in the United States and around the world. He is also directing the UCSD Summer Clinical Institute - the second longest running Summer Institute in the United States (over 40 years). Dr. Koutsenok is also a member of the International Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). 

For many years, Dr. Koutsenok taught general and addiction psychiatry to medical students, psychiatry residents, psychology trainees, social workers, criminal justice professionals, and policy makers around the world. He is a recipient of numerous national and international awards. He has authored and co-authored over 50 scientific publications, one monograph, and contributed to 4 book. Dr. Koutsenok has been invited as a presenter and trainer to hundreds of conferences and workshops in the USA and more than 40 countries around the world. He is a proud father of three.