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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…

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Next phase for Sweden research

Continuing the research she began during her 2013 visit to Stockholm, SSAC program leader Suzanne Fraser is now organising a second research trip in early 2015. The research is part of her Australian Research Council Future Fellowship program, which is primarily based on comparative study of four national policy settings: two Australian states, New South…

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Neuroscientific accounts of addiction: APSAD Conference symposium

Joining an impressive panel of researchers and drug user advocates at this year’s APSAD conference, held in early November, SSAC program leader Associate Professor Suzanne Fraser presented new research on the social and ethical dimensions of addiction neuroscience. Her paper focused on two recent popular science books by neuroscientists who work in drug use and addiction…

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Legal responses to ‘addiction': new research published

SSAC researchers Dr Kate Seear and Associate Professor Suzanne Fraser have just published two new articles on the law and addiction. These refereed publications come out of the ‘Regulating Addictions’ project,  currently in its pilot phase. The project is being led by Dr Seear, who is a SSAC Adjunct and Senior Lecturer in Law at Monash University. The first article, published in…

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Symposium: The ethics of researching people engaged in illegal activities

SSAC Research Fellow, Dr Robyn Dwyer, recently presented at an important symposium on Research Ethics in Vulnerable Populations. The symposium examined and analysed ethical issues related to research in certain vulnerable populations, including women affected by intimate partner violence; prisoners; people who inject drugs; sex workers; and men who have sex with men. Sessions included…

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Report on SSAC’s recent research forum out now

SSAC ‘s recent research engagement event generated a host of useful and inspiring insights, comments and suggestions. A report summarising the key points raised in the presentations, panel discussion and group consultations is now available. The report also details the projects discussed, panellists who took part and the day’s proceedings. Background to the report Over the last year the…

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SSAC research becomes art

A new collaboration between SSAC researcher Suzanne Fraser and Melbourne sound and video artist John Jacobs recently put research ideas about addiction into art via a video installation for the 2014 Gertrude St Projection Festival. Shown in the front window of the SSAC offices within Curtin University’s National Drug Research Institute Melbourne office, the piece, entitled addiction, habit,…

Habits: Remaking Addiction

Launch of new book on addiction

What is ‘addiction’? What does it say about us, our social arrangements and our political preoccupations? How are ideas about and responses to addiction changing, and what is at stake in these developments? These are the questions new book Habits: Remaking addiction seeks to answer. Using Science and Technology Studies theory and an impressive range of international…