APMA is the third world oldest association of medical doctors on addiction medicine. This is remarkable at a Portuguese national level, but also important at an international and foreign affairs level, because the APMA is connected with the foundation of ISAM - International Society of Addiction Medicine, in April 1999, at Eisenhower Medical Center Campus - Betty Ford Center, Rancho Mirage, Ca., U.S.A. (with actual world headquarters at Calgary, Canada).
APMA was founded in 1990, in Lisbon, Portugal by two Military Medical Doctors (Portuguese Defense Ministry) with the speciality of Psychiatry.
One of the co-founders was from Portuguese Navy Medicine, J. Margalho Carrilho M.D. P.Navy Veteran. Dr. Margalho Carrilho received training on Addiction Medicine in 1985, at U.S. Navy Medicine, Naval Drug Rehabilitation Center, Miramar Naval Air Station (Top Gun pilot school) in San Diego, U.S.A., and was the pioneer that introduced in Portugal in 1987, the Minnesota Model and the twelve steps mutual help groups of Addiction Medicine (Medical model). The other co-founder was from Portuguese Army Medicine, Dr. José Carrilho Ribeiro Leitão M.D. P. Army Veteran. Dr. Carrilho Ribeiro Leitão has introduced and developed, since 1990, the world pioneer Netherlands social approach on opiates harm reduction, VIH prevention including syringes street distribution and exchange program, Methadone substitution program including distribution at street level with local team with social workers and nurses. This Netherlands social model has been adapted to Portugal at a national level law, in 1999.
Other APMA co-founders included Rui Correia M.D., José Tropa M.D., Ernesto Gomes Machado M.D., Francisco Henriques M.D., Carlos Pina Brito M.D., Teresa Sá Nogueira M.D. Between 1990 and 1995 APMA developed several medical education activities such as:
The foundation of ISAM occurred in 1999 at the Palm Springs Betty Ford Center Ca. U.S.A. with the presence of opinion leaders from 32 countries selected by ASAM, CSAM and U.S. Department of State - USAIDS, with the White House Director of ONDCP -Office of National Drug Control Policy, Barry McCaffrey, Bill Clinton President representatives of USAIDS, U.S. Department of State of Madeleine Albright and the co-founder and CEO of Betty Ford Center, ex first lady of U.S.A. Betty Ford.