Lives of Substance: project’s final report now out

Final report from SSAC’s Lives of Substance project now available. Despite decades of research, policymaking and service provision, much remains unknown about lived experiences of alcohol and other drug addiction or dependence in Australia. Little is known, for example, about the range of people currently affected by addiction issues, and how they cope and manage…

Challenging addiction concepts: watch the symposium

SSAC’s Social and Legal Studies of Addiction Concepts research symposium (held on Friday October 7th) reported on the many research projects currently underway in the program. The symposium was hosted by Associate Professor Helen Keane, who is based at the Australian National University, and was divided into three sessions: presentations by program research students, presentations by program staff…

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…

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…

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,…

Experiences of addiction: Final interviews

Following successful data collection in Melbourne, Bendigo and Sydney, SSAC research project ‘Experiences of addiction, treatment and recovery’ is now entering its final phase of interviewing, this time in the New South Wales Northern Rivers region. Research associate Dr Kiran Pienaar has commenced interviewing in Byron Bay, and plans to collect data across the region,…

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…

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…

Sweden-Australia research collaboration

How do Australian alcohol and other drug (AOD) policies define and respond to issues of drug use and addiction? How do the objectives made explicit in these policies relate to the implicit assumptions about drugs and drug problems also at work in them? These questions underpin one of SSAC’s largest research projects: an ARC-funded international…