Problem of addictions such as problem gambling, substance and alcohol abuse, smoking, overspending, sex and internet are widespread and concerning many of our families. These addictive behaviors can have a wide range of adverse effects on individuals, families and our communities such as emotional and health problems, family problems, financial problems, study and employment problems, increase of crime rate and etc. In some severe cases like suicide, mental breakdown and family violence would cause devastations and damages to our families and society. This growing problem of addictions has aroused mounting concerns to a wide spectrum of professionals such as teachers, social workers, physician, psychiatrist, even policy makers. These helping professionals have drawn much effort in the development of effective prevention and treatment strategies.
With rapidly development of new technologies appearing in the new Millennium, we acknowledge that the society has been evolving quickly and addictions became complicated and multifaceted with many new technologies such as internet gambling and electronic cigarette that requires collaborative efforts to bring further understanding and insights into the design and development of prevention and treatment programs. Therefore, new development of innovative services incorporated with new technology with emphasis on preventive education, early identification, treatment and relapse prevention for addiction is necessary in view of the rapid societal changes and global development.
Effective intervention involves concerted effort from a wide spectrum of professionals including teachers, social workers, physicians, psychiatrists, policy makers and even the gambling industry. Besides, a platform for sharing of knowledge and experiences among different experts from different parts of the world is essential and valuable for the development of the addiction services. Therefore, it is suggested to organize a conference with the theme of 'Challenges and Interventions in the Era of Innovation and Technology'.
A logo of "Earth" is used as the design concept for this year conference theme. The light spots all over the globe illustrates how technology, innovations and ideas connect each other. Triangles inside means transformation and the triangle popping out at bottom left turns the globe into an icon, resembling dialogues without border built upon technology.