EMCDDA and SICAD formalise ‘Lisbon Addictions’ cooperation with new agreement

Today, the EMCDDA and the General-Directorate for Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (SICAD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), formalising their cooperation in the organisation of the European Conference on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies — ‘Lisbon Addictions’. The signatories of the agreement were SICAD Director-General João Goulão and EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel.

SICAD Director-General João Goulão and EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel at the signing ceremony

‘Lisbon Addictions’ is a multidisciplinary event which showcases the latest scientific knowledge in the addictions field, exploring challenges relating to illicit drugs, alcohol, tobacco, screen addiction, gambling and other addictive behaviours. The two organisations first co-organised the event in 2015, with additional editions held in 2017, 2019 and 2022. It is now the principal European conference in the area of addictions and one of the largest scientific addiction events in the world.

The purpose of today’s MoU is to promote effective cooperation in the organisation of the conference, including the appropriate use of resources and the safeguarding of ethical standards and scientific independence. Under the agreement, the two bodies will cooperate on conceptualising, organising, implementing and assessing the conference. They will also co-chair the Organising Committee and the Programme Committee — the latter being responsible for building the conference programme and ensuring its scientific quality and coherence.

The conference provides a unique professional networking opportunity for researchers, scientists, practitioners, people with lived experience and policy experts from across countries and disciplines to address new challenges and developing fields.

Since 2019, the conference organisers have adopted a co-production approach in shaping the conference content, with the aim of creating a rich, diverse and innovative programme. Co-producers are responsible for thematic tracks, covering areas from international policies and interventions, to innovative methods and human rights.   

EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel said: ‘I am delighted to sign this agreement today with our longstanding partner SICAD to ensure the scientific and organisational excellence of the Lisbon Addictions conferences. These events offer an internationally renowned platform for advancing scientific work across the addictions field and have put Lisbon on the map as a centre for high-quality debate and networking on this issue. We are confident that, with our dynamic co-production approach, we will continue to enhance understanding and research on addiction and addictive behaviours today’.

SICAD Director-General João Goulão said: ‘This Memorandum of Understanding formalises the collaboration that has existed since 2015 between SICAD and EMCDDA in the organisation of one of the most relevant international events on addictive behaviours and dependencies: Lisbon Addictions. The event has already been through four highly successful editions. With this agreement, we intend to ensure the continuity of this biennial conference, that has been contributing with the latest research to the construction of knowledge based on scientific evidence.’

The MoU covers two Lisbon Addictions conferences (2024 and 2026). The next edition of the conference will take place in Lisbon from 23–25 October 2024 under the overarching theme of 'Empowering the workforce of the future'. The MoU may be renewed automatically for the organisation of future Lisbon Addictions conferences after 2026.

In 2024, the event will be organised by: the Portuguese General-Directorate for Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (SICAD); the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA); the journal Addiction/Society for the Study of Addiction (Addiction/SSA); and the International Society of Addiction Journal Editors (ISAJE). SICAD and the EMCDDA take responsibility for institutional aspects and for overseeing the event.

The two bodies collaborate closely on a regular basis. SICAD is the national focal point in the Reitox network and is responsible for providing Portuguese data to the EMCDDA for its analyses.