Dr Jurgen Rehm

Jürgen Rehm (Ph.D. psychology and methodology; University Mannheim 1985) has been working in the area of substance use for over a decade and is Co-Head of the Public Health and Regulatory Policy section at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada. He also holds a Chair position in Addiction Policy, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, and is Director of the WHO Collaboration Centre on Substance Abuse at Zurich.

Dr. Rehm has published over 400 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in issues related to substance use and abuse, mainly related to epidemiology, economics and policy. He was awarded with the Jellinek Memorial Fund Award for outstanding contributions to the advancement of knowledge on alcohol/alcoholism: exemplary research contributions of fundamental importance in alcohol epidemiology and for international leadership in the
applications of state-of-the-art methods in population studies in 2003. He has been responsible for the Comparative Risk Assessment (CRA) on alcohol within the Global Burden of Disease 2000 study, and is currently Co Principal Investigator of the CRA on the same topic within the GBD 2005 study. Dr. Rehm has also been PI on numerous projects for the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the National Institutes of Health and various

Dependence: prevalence and relevance

Dependence has been operationalized differently over the years. From the distinction of addiction-producing vs. habit-forming drugs (WHO, 1957) to a unified concept of dependence for all drugs as in ICD 10 or DSM IV has been a long way. Prevalence and relevance of addiction or dependence have changed accordingly. Prevalence widely depends on the prevalence of symptoms,which have huge variation between substances and cultures. Also, the relevance of these symptoms changes between cultures. Given these variations, it seems astonishing that the structure of relations between symptoms and diagnosis had found to be relatively stable between substances and cultures in empirical analyses. The presentation will try to give some hints to solve this puzzle by looking at empirical results from the NIH/WHO Joint Project on Diagnosis and Classification of Mental Disorders, Alcohol and Drug-Related Problems in several cultures, not restricted to Europe and North America.