Law, drugs and viral hepatitis: opportunities for advocacy and reform

SSAC Adjunct and ARC DECRA Fellow Dr Kate Seear was an invited keynote speaker at the 10th Australasian Viral Hepatitis conference on the Gold Coast, Queensland, on 30th September 2016. The conference is the leading multidisciplinary conference on viral hepatitis in Australasia. It brings together researchers, peer advocates and practitioners from across the region to discuss developments in…

Authenticity and capacity in mandated treatment

What are mandated medico-legal interventions and how can they affect people diagnosed as alcohol or other drug dependent? SSAC adjunct Dr Kate Seear addressed these questions recently in a presentation that formed part of a group of events on mandated medico-legal interventions in Australia. The events were part of a program of work being undertaken by…

Program out now for October symposium: Thinking ‘addiction’

Program now available for this event. Since it began in 2013 SSAC has conducted research on a wide range of topics including Australian, Canadian and Swedish alcohol and other drug policy, personal experiences of addiction in Australia, addiction concepts on Twitter, legal interpretations of addiction, the Victorian drug court, compulsory drug treatment in China, and young people in…

Lives of Substance

Lives of Substance website launch

A groundbreaking new website was launched in Melbourne on Friday the 7th of October with the help of writer Kate Holden and harm reduction pioneer Jenny Kelsall. Lives of Substance is Australia’s first dedicated website presenting carefully researched personal stories of alcohol or other drug addiction, dependence or habit. Based on an innovative ARC-funded project, the website’s aim is to generate and present much-needed new…

Addiction in Australian & Canadian law

How is addiction constituted in Australian law, and how does this compare with Canadian law? This is the focus of Dr Kate Seear’s Australian Research Council DECRA fellowship, which is entitled ‘Addiction in the Australian legal system: A sociological analysis’. A SSAC Adjunct Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Law at Monash University, Kate has recently arrived in…

Listening to young people

Having just completed data collection, SSAC PhD candidate Liz Normand is looking forward to tackling the next phase of her project: data analysis. A qualitative study supervised by Dr Robyn Dwyer and Professor Suzanne Fraser, the project’s key research questions are:  How do marginalised young people in contact with alcohol and other drug (AOD) services understand their AOD…

‘Addicting’ via Twitter

SSAC’s purpose is to study, map and monitor ideas of addiction, seeking to illuminate the ways the ‘problem of addiction’ itself is constituted and operationalised in Australian society, culture and politics. Recently, SSAC researchers Dr Robyn Dwyer and Professor Suzanne Fraser began analysing the addiction concepts circulating throughout the social media platform, Twitter. As lead investigator…

Lives of Substance

In 2014 Curtin University’s Social Studies of Addiction Concepts (SSAC) research team began work on an innovative project that would underpin Australia’s first dedicated web site presenting personal experiences of people who consider themselves to have an alcohol or other drug addiction, dependence or habit. The groundbreaking Lives of Substance website offers new perspectives on…

Addiction screening tools: Assumptions and effects

In Australia and around the world addiction is defined and rendered measurable with the use of standardised addiction screening and diagnostic questionnaires or ‘tools’. Wherever statements are made about addiction, its effects and appropriate remedies, these tools have played a key part. In 2015, SSAC researchers Dr Robyn Dwyer and Professor Suzanne Fraser began analysing these tools…

Addiction: One term, many different experiences

After successful data collection in Melbourne, Bendigo, Sydney and Northern Rivers, interviews for the SSAC research project ‘Experiences of addiction, treatment and recovery’ are now complete. The interviews comprise material from 60 participants who consider themselves to have an alcohol or other drug (AOD) habit, dependence or addiction. Commenting on the experience of conducting some of the interviews,…