In October, 2001, just a month after the World Trade Center tragedy, a 2-day conference was scheduled to be held in Coral Gables, Florida entitled Treating Adolescent Substance Abuse: State of the Science funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (grant 1 R13 DA13395-01A1, H. Liddle, PI). It was hosted by the University of Miami Center for Treatment Research on Adolescent Drug Abuse. The conference objective was to characterize and articulate the developmental status of the research specialty in adolescent drug abuse treatment. Specifically, we aimed to explore the specialty's readiness to adopt or adapt existing treatment development models, and to develop new empirical and clinical frameworks. A broader function of the conference was to disseminate the latest research-based work on a range of core topics in adolescent substance abuse treatment to a diverse audience. With a diversity of research and clinical interests, viewpoints, and settings represented, we hoped that the conference would facilitate dialogue and specify unanswered empirical questions and points of controversy. In addition, if issues of this kind could be addressed successfully, additional advances in the adolescent substance abuse treatment research specialty could occur.
In the weeks after the terrorist attacks, amidst threats of continued violence, fears of flying, and the anthrax outbreak only miles from the conference venue, serious questions emerged: could the conference proceed at all, and if it did, would more than a handful of participants attend? We held the meeting and the participants turned up.
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