Supporting the professionalisation of the substance use prevention, treatment and recovery workforce



The field of substance use prevention, treatment and recovery has developed and evolved substantially to meet the ever-changing needs of global society.

The consequences of substance use continue to be a worldwide public health burden. Too often professionals working within the field are restricted in their ability to practice effectively due to lack of time, information and expertise. Interventions, which are designed to prevent and treat substance use, are often ill-informed and can be ineffective and harmful. There is also a lack of recognition of the importance of recovery and reintegration back into society.

There is a growing need for a united workforce that shares resources and research on ethical and evidenced practice. We are fortunate to live in a time where technology allows us to connect with colleagues from around the world. It is essential that there is a clear line of communication between academics and practitioners, and that research is accessible to all those working in the field. There needs to be a platform where people can share experiences, training opportunities and knowledge.

A focal point for a united workforce

The International Society of Substance Use Prevention and Treatment Professionals (ISSUP) is a global non-governmental organisation that supports the development of a professional substance use prevention, treatment and recovery network. ISSUP’s contribution is informed by science and research, promoting evidence-based and high-quality, ethical practice.

ISSUP delivers its role as a focal point to connect groups:

In the digital arena, ISSUP provides up-to-date information, resources and access to training via its website. ISSUP holds an annual conference, which offers training and networking opportunities that support the professionalisation of the workforce. On a local level, ISSUP’s National Chapters allow for network development, knowledge sharing and professionalisation.

ISSUP connects those working in the field with key research, training opportunities and serves as a digital focal point for information about substance use prevention, treatment and recovery. ISSUP uses technology to support professionals by developing networks of professionals, sharing knowledge online, providing information on training and other professional development opportunities.

ISSUP’s networks encourages communication and knowledge sharing between professionals in a virtual setting. Networks allow health care professionals, researchers, practitioners and others in the field to share research, success stories and information on best practice with a defined interest group and like-minded professionals.

ISSUP’s conference takes place in different regions around the world. The eventbrings the drug demand reduction community and key international organisations together to receive training, network, attain credentials and share knowledge.

ISSUP engages professionals in the field on a national level through National Chapters, facilitating the formation of culturally relevant networks. These networks then build capacity and knowledge within their country to develop the drug demand reduction workforce.


ISSUP works to ensure that knowledge and learning within the drug demand reduction field are made accessible and communicated in such a way that others can build on successful experiences. Through its work the organisation provides a unique and essential service for professionals in the field.


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