Dr. José Szapocznik to Present at International Conference on Drug Prevention, Treatment, and Care

José Szapocznik, Ph.D., professor of public health sciences, architecture, psychology, and educational and psychological studies at the University of Miami, will present next month at the International Conference on Drug Prevention, Treatment and Care in Vienna, Austria.

Because drug abuse is a matter of international concern, the conference will bring together hundreds of government, non-governmental organization, and drug abuse professionals from around the world. It is being jointly hosted by the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and co-sponsored by the World Health Organization and the Organization of American States.

Dr. Szapocznik will present on the United Nations Family Therapy Program for Adolescents with Substance Use Disorders. The program, developed under the leadership of UNODC program officer Anja Busse in collaboration with UNODC associate expert Waturo Kashino, was launched last July with a meeting at the UNODC headquarters in Vienna. Dr. Szapocznik, who is chair emeritus of the Miller School of Medicine Department of Public Health Sciences, participated in both the initial meeting and in subsequent work to develop the model for disseminating the UN Family Therapy Program to treat adolescent drug use in low- and middle-income countries.

Widely recognized for his work with minority families, Dr. Szapocznik is a pioneer in the field of family therapy for adolescent drug abuse. He published the first-ever randomized trial of family therapy as a treatment for adolescent drug abuse, and has conducted many other studies in this field.

He developed Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT), an evidence-based approach for child and adolescent substance use and behavioral programs, and serves as director of the Brief Strategic Family Therapy Institute at the Miller School of Medicine. The Institute supports community-based BSFT programs throughout the U.S. and in Sweden, with approximately 1,500 families under its supervision at any given time.

Dr. Szapocznik also founded the Florida Center of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, for which he served as director for its first 10 years and co-director for the next 10 years.

Ranked among the top 100 NIH-funded investigators in the world, Dr. Szapocznik has received numerous national awards from organizations such as the American Psychological Association, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, the American Family Therapy Academy, the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, and the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse.

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