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Making addiction in screening tools

In a newly published article by Dr Robyn Dwyer and Professor Suzanne Fraser, standardised addiction screening and diagnostic tools used widely in Australia and around the world are analysed to illuminate their role in defining addiction and rendering it measurable. A key element in expert knowledge-making, the tools play a central role in establishing the ‘reality’ of addiction. In…

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SSAC to present research at CDP Lisbon conference

September will see three members of the SSAC team travel to Lisbon, Portugal to take part in the biennial Contemporary Drug Problems conference. Recognised as one of the world’s most innovative and challenging international forums for social research on drug use, the conference will allow SSAC staff to showcase a range of projects underway in…

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‘Experiences of addiction’ project: SSAC video presentation

What exactly is ‘addiction’ and how do people experience it? How do these experiences shape their understandings of themselves, and how others see them? These are some of the questions informing the development of a new online resource on personal experiences of AOD addiction or dependence in Australia. In a recent presentation delivered as part of a seminar series…

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Responding to steroid injecting: new report

Australia is at risk of increases in HIV and hepatitis C transmission, Australian experts believe, as rates of illicit steroid injecting go up. A newly released report documents concern among alcohol and other drug workers and policy makers that Australia does not know enough about the practice and may fail to prevent new blood-borne virus epidemics…

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Research visit: Sweden and Belgium

May saw SSAC’s Professor Suzanne Fraser take part in two important European meetings on drug use and addiction. The first, held in Stockholm on May 11 and 12, was run by the SONAD network, the Swedish Alcohol and Drug Research Network within the Social Sciences. Organised on the theme of addiction and (bio-)medicalisation, and focusing on…

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Update: new SSAC publications

Recent publications from members of the SSAC team cover a range of topics related to projects currently underway in the program. A newly published article lead-authored by Dr Kiran Pienaar analyses the representation of addiction in two major Australian alcohol and other drug-related online resources, and uses feminist and science studies theory to argue that…

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Making addictions in screening and diagnostic tools

What counts as a drug problem? What exactly is addiction? How big is the addiction ‘problem’? Researchers work in a wide range of disciplines to answer these questions, often relying upon information collected via screening and diagnostic tools (e.g., the four-item CAGE questionnaire or the ten-item AUDIT). Typically developed within epidemiological research, these tools establish…

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Impending Bali executions rely on mistaken ideas about drugs

The impending execution of Bali Nine members Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran has led to an impassioned public debate about capital punishment. But some of the reasons being used to justify the executions just don’t hold up under scrutiny. Proportionality – the notion that punishment must fit the crime – is a fundamental principle of criminal…

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National steroids consultation: Take part

Led by Dr Kate Seear, members of the SSAC team have just begun development work on a new research project on the use of steroids in Australia. As part of the preparation for this study, we are conducting a national consultation to canvass the views of health professionals, key stakeholders, academics, policymakers and user organisations with expertise…

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Update on experiences of addiction study

Focusing on the Bendigo area of Victoria, the second phase of SSAC’s ARC-funded research on experiences of alcohol and other drug addiction or dependence in Australia has now begun. With a population of 105 332, Bendigo is a major regional centre in Northern Victoria. It has a large service economy and hosts one of La Trobe University’s campuses. The site was chosen for…