On March 24, 2024, an International conference on addictive and dual disorders: psychopathology and therapy, was held in Sofia.

This special event is realised in connection with the 20th anniversary of the official opening of the Kantchelov Clinic,

in partnership with

World Association on Dual Disorders (WADD)
World Federation for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (WFTOD)
European Opioid Addiction Treatment Association (EUROPAD)

Special speakers at the conference were Prof. Icro Maremani (President of the World Association on Dual Disorders), Rick Bes (Director of the Centre for Motivation and Change, Alkmaar, The Netherlands) and Dr. Matteo Pacini (Scientific Director of the Italian Society for Clinical and Experimental Psychiatry).

A special guest was Rosalin Nakov, one of Bulgaria’s leading composers and pianists, winner of 3 Golden Orpheus awards, who performed several works of movie music, as well as a composition composed by him for his upcoming album, heard for the first time.

The conference began with a greeting from Prof. Ikro Maremani (president of the European Opioid Addiction Treatment Association), who emphasised the importance of the Kantchelov Clinic in the field of opioid substitution treatment not only for Bulgaria, but also for Europe. Then the film “20 Years in 20 Minutes” was screened, which traces the path of the Kantchelov Clinic from its opening to the present day and its development as one of the leading programmes providing opioid substitution treatment for people with problem opioid use.

The founder and director of the clinic, Dr. Alexander Kantchelov, made a presentation on the topic: “Clinical concepts in development: New lessons and old truths”, where he emphasised the importance of psychosocial interventions, as an integral part of the overall package of services in methadone substitution treatment.

Rick Bes from the Netherlands addressed the topic: “The Forest and the Trees: Effective Psychotherapies or Effective Psychotherapists”, highlighting the importance not only of realised psychotherapeutic approaches in treatment, but also the skills psychotherapists need to possess in order to effectively implement these approaches.

In a special session of the conference, the leading therapists of the programme presented the activities of the Kantchelov Clinic.

Tsvetana Stoykova (therapeutic director of the clinic) introduced the topic: “From specific psychopathology to the choice of psychotherapeutic strategies in the treatment of patients with opiate addiction.” Maria Dobreva (senior psychotherapist at the clinic) examined “Therapeutic beyond the psychotherapy session and the medication”, and Prof. Orlin Todorov “looking back and moving forward” indicated discoveries and observations from 20 years of psychotherapeutic work at the Kantchelov Clinic.

In a special presentation, as one of the leading specialists in the field of dual disorders, Prof. Ikro Maremani addressed the topic: “When psychopathology does not belong to dual disorders. Toward a Specific Psychopathology of Substance Use Disorders and Its Impact on Opioid Agonist Treatment’.

Dr. Matteo Pacini was unable to attend the conference in person, but sent a video in which he introduced the topic: “Dual diagnosis and cocaine dependence, with or without opiate dependence.”

At the end of the conference, a discussion was held with the keynote speakers, focused on the therapy of addictive and dual disorders.