Concepts of addiction in Australia, Canada and Sweden: Research findings

In 2013 SSAC program leader Professor Suzanne Fraser began a program of research funded by an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship. Initially focused on concepts of addiction in Australian and Canadian policy making and service provision, the program quickly grew to include a Swedish arm, and expanded, with the aid of additional funding support…

SSAC team presents research to Victorian Law Reform Commission

SSAC team members Dr Kate Seear and Professor Suzanne Fraser were recently invited to present their research findings to a major review of crime compensation laws currently being undertaken by the Victorian Law Reform Commission. The Commission is conducting a comprehensive review into Victoria’s Victims of Crime Assistance Act, which is the state’s major legislative mechanism…

Upcoming IJDP special section: New papers

In June the International Journal of Drug Policy (IJDP) will publish a special section entitled Social Studies of Addiction Concepts, edited by Professor Suzanne Fraser, head of Curtin University’s Social Studies of Addiction Concepts (SSAC) program, and Associate Professor Helen Keane, based at ANU. The articles in this issue will be drawn from the Social…

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…

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…

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…

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,…