ISAM Constitution


I. General

1. The Society shall be named the International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM), (hereafter referred to as “The Society”).
Its present headquarters are in Calgary, Canada.

The Society is an international, non-political, not-for-profit organization governed in accordance with its Constitution.
The International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM) is an international society of physicians committed to the advancement of the following:

  • Addiction is a preventable and treatable disease
  • Physicians worldwide have a major role in the management of addiction
  • Addiction Medicine is an essential medical specialty

We hope to address the following issues by means of our joint efforts:

  1. The Credibility of the Physicians Role
    It is essential that sufficient credence be given to the perspective of physicians specializing in addiction medicine in addressing this chronic disease
    Participants in this endeavor have important educational roles to play in the training of physicians already in the field of addiction medicine and of general physicians as well
    There needs to be a credible international group that speaks for physicians in addiction medicine worldwide and promotes further recruitment of physicians into the field. The Society will lend strength to the efforts of physicians in their respective
    countries in partnership with national societies
    A medical collaboration will be invaluable in generating and disseminating new research findings in addiction
    Physicians in addiction medicine together will formulate empirically-grounded policies for addressing this illness on the national and international levels
    It is important that physicians work together to deal with the problem of impairment of health professionals from substance abuse
    By virtue of our collaboration, we will be able to play a stronger and more effective role in the prevention of addictive illness and its health and social consequences
    Physicians recognize the social, cultural and other aspects of addiction and welcome the opportunity to collaborate with other professionals in the field

Additional goals may be chosen by the Board of Directors and the General Assembly.

To achieve its objectives the Society will provide for:

(a) The organization of:

  • International conferences, symposia, study courses
  • International study and research groups in the field of alcohol and other drug problems

(b) The establishment and maintenance of relations with international, regional, national and local organizations whose activities are in conformity with the objectives and the activities of the Society

c) The organizing of regional and national offices such as the Board of Directors may decide

d) The maintenance of a central office to function primarily as a co-ordination agency and information centre

The original text of the constitution is in English.

The Board of Directors shall have the competence to draw up by-laws governing the affairs of the Society and shall have the competence to
draw up guidelines concerning international meetings. The by-laws are subject to the approval of the majority of the membership present at a duly constituted meeting. Any legal dispute which might occur between the Society and its members will be dealt with as prescribed by the By-laws of the Society.

II. Membership

Admission of members: Membership shall be open to all physicians whose aims and activities coincide, or are directly connected with the Society’s objectives. Application for membership has to be made in writing. The Board of Directors may select members from other disciplines as non-voting associate members in recognition of a special contribution to the field of addiction.

The Board of Directors shall have the power to refuse membership without Refusal of giving any explanation for its decision. An appeal process will be Membership delineated in the By-laws.

Membership can be suspended or terminated by the Board of Directors Suspension of with a vote of absolute majority.

An Appeal process will be delineated in the By-laws.

Members who wish to resign their membership with the Society Resignation must give written notice to that effect before the end
of the fiscal year covered by the subscription.

The full membership of physicians and other classes of membership will be delineated in the By -laws.

Those members whose membership is terminated, or who resign, will lose all membership rights.

III. Governing Bodies

The governing bodies of the Society shall be:

A. the General Assembly
B. the Board of Directors

A. The General Assembly:
  • The General Assembly shall consist of all full members of the Society in good standing.
  • The General Assembly shall be chaired by the President; in his/her absence by the Senior Vice-President, in his/her absence by another Vice-President.
  • The General Assembly and duly constituted meetings shall be convened by the Board of Directors. Electronic or written notice to this effect shall be given at least ninety days prior to the date fixed for the meeting.
  • The General Assembly shall meet at least once every three years and according to the time, place and agenda to be determined by the Board of Directors.
  • The General Assembly shall be the governing body of the Society Powers and shall have the following powers:
    • to determine the general policy of the Society as recommended by the Board of Directors
    • it shall arbitrate in matters concerning notices of appeal against termination of membership and rejection of admissions
    • to elect the President, Vice-Presidents, Secretary-Treasurer and the members of the Board of Directors
    • to receive and adopt:
      • the budget and audited accounts presented
      • the report of activities presented by the Board of Directors
    • to determine the annual membership fees and other possible contributions
    • to deal with all matters not within the power of other organs of the Society

The matter of agenda setting and quorum will be delineated in the By- laws of the Society.

B. The Board of Directors:

  • The Board of Directors shall consist of elected full members and chaired by the President. Representation from all regions as outlined in the By-laws is to be ensured
  • The process of nomination of candidates, elections and terms of office of will be delineated in the By-laws of the Society
  • The Board of Directors shall organize its own procedural deliberations guided by, following Robert’s Rules of Law
  • The President shall chair the meetings of the General Assembly and those of the Board of Directors. He/she shall also be responsible for convening both organs
  • The Senior Vice-President shall replace the President in his absence and can be entrusted with special responsibilities by the Board of Directors
  • The Secretary-Treasurer shall be responsible for overseeing the documentation in coordination with the Society’s office to be sent to members of the Society and to members of the Board of Directors as well as maintaining and reporting on budgetary matters. Other duties and responsibilities will be outlined in the By-laws
  • The Board of Directors shall have a conference and/or meet at a frequency determined in the By-laws and at the call of the President, or upon request of the majority of its members.
  • The Board of Directors shall have the authority

(a) to determine guidelines and general policy of the Society,

– to approve the report of activities

– to control the finances of the Society

These decisions are to be approved by the General Assembly:

(b) to pronounce on membership applications and suspensions from membership

(c) to designate persons who shall have the authorization to sign on behalf of the Society

(d) to appoint permanent sections or ad hoc committees

(e) to rule on requests to set up committees, sections or study groups and to determine the rights and obligations of such bodies

The matter of deliberations and quorum will be outlined in the By-laws.

The Board of Directors may form standing or ad hoc committees and Committees may invite any member of the Society to participate.An Advisory Council of Organizations will maintain communication with national organizations and report to the Board of Directors. The Committees formed, the deliberation process and the quorum required will be outlined in the By-laws.

Officers of the Society will include a President, Vice-Presidents, Secretary-Treasurer and other officers as delineated from time to time by the By-laws. Officers terms of office will be delineated by the By-laws.

IV. Revision of the Constitution

Any alterations of the Constitution shall require previous electronic or written notice to all full members at least sixty days before the General Constitution Assembly which will decide thereon. The quorum and majority required will be identified in the By-laws

V. Dissolution

Dissolution of the Society shall not be decided upon before written notice has been given to all full members at least sixty days before the meeting of the General Assembly and shall need the approval of two-thirds of all full members. The Board of Directors shall be responsible for the dissolution of the Society and disposition of its assets in conformity with its obligations.

VI. Entry into force

The present temporary Constitution shall come into force immediately upon its adoption by the General Assembly.