The theme of the conference was “Professionalising Drug Demand Reduction Services – from Research to Practice”. A total of 247 participants from 24 countries attended the conference. Other collaborating agencies for this international conference were Melaka State Government, National Anti Drugs Agency, Ministry of Home Affairs, Malaysia and Solace Sabah. The conference not only aimed at professionalising drug demand reduction practitioners and evidence-based services but also highlighted the importance of capacity building, skills training, and credentialing system for both prevention and treatment specialists and facilities. The conference also provided an opportunity for sharing of experiences and best practices in the region. Beside plenary sessions and technical paper presentations, skill-based workshops were also offered in six different tracks which includes:
1) School-based Prevention,
2) Workplace Prevention,
3) Life Skills for Drug Prevention and Treatment,
4) UTC Curriculum 5,
5) UTC Curriculum 2A (Community Outreach),
6) Recovery Coach (special curriculum).
Recovery Symposium 2014 was also part of the conference which brought together significant number of recovering persons to celebrate their recovery specially funded by Solace Sabah. The symposium included different events like the Recovery Countdown Dinner, Recovery Run, Recovery Forum, and Recovery Workshop. Held on the morning of September 26, 2014, Recovery Run was a unique feature of this year’s symposium. The Run was flagged off by Dato Suhami Bin Abdullah, Director General of NADA, Mr Kinley Dorji, Secretary General of Colombo Plan and Dr Prem Kumar Shanmugam of Solace Sabah followed by participants through the historical and heritage sights of Melaka.
The closing ceremony of the international conference and workshop was attended by DG of NADA, Secretary General of Colombo Plan, Mayor of Melaka City and founder of Solace Sabah. On the onset of the closing ceremony, Mr Tay Bian How, Director ICCE, Colombo Plan presented the conference report of the ASCAD 2014 conference. He highlighted the conference recommendations which were mainly focused on professionalizing DDR specialists and promoting evidence-based practices in the field of substance use prevention and treatment. The conference recommendations also suggested building and strengthening the regional and international partnerships, collaborations and experience sharing opportunities. The CP-ASCAD International Conference and Workshop 2014 was declared closed by Datuk Hj. Ismail Othman, representing the Chief Minister of Melaka.