Scottish Drugs Forum: Conference Presentations






SDF Conference Presentations Archive

Conference presentations from earlier years can be accessed through selecting them from a list - click here.... to view the list - and emailing your request to


'More Than Steroids' - Scotland's National Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs (IPEDs) Conference

22nd of March 2017
The Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow

You can download PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations here:

The range of IPEDs, user populations and motivations for use
- Jim McVeigh, Director of Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University

What people are using - the evidence from chemical analysis - evidence from WEDINOS
- Dean Acreman, WEDINOS

The epidemiology of IPED users attending injecting equipment provision services in Scotland
- Andrew McAuley, Health Protection Scotland

Harms - presentations in clinical settings
- John Campbell, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Regional pictures of evolving practice
- A specialist clinic in Inverness - Linda MacLeod
- Dedicated worker in Aberdeen/shire - Finlay Colville
- Harm Reduction Team in Edinburgh - Con Lafferty

'Empowering Service Users' - The National Practitioner Forum for User Involvement Conference

2nd of March 2017
The Principal Hotel, Edinburgh

You can download PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations here:

Citizen participation, democratic innovation and the community empowerment agenda in Scotland
- Oliver Escobar, Lecturer in Public Policy, University of Edinburgh (Politics and IR), and Co-Director of What Works Scotland

Introducing delegates to the workbook and background information on its origins and development
- Martha Lester-Cribb, Evaluation Support Manager, Evaluation Support Scotland, Author “Why bother involving people in service evaluation?”

Former service user reflecting on his participation and side benefits to him personally through user involvement and as part of the recovery process
- Jason Wallace, National Naloxone Training and Support Officer, Scottish Drugs Forum

SDF Seminar and Annual General Meeting 2017

8th of February 2017
Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow

You can download PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations here:

Drug use and consequences in Europe - trends and challenges
- Lucas Wiessing, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)

Responding to Blood Borne Virus outbreaks
- Leon Wylie, Hepatitis Scotland and Emma Hamilton, Scottish Drugs Forum

Challenges for the Sector, including Funding and Older Drug User
- David Liddell and Austin Smith, Scottish Drugs Forum


Working Together with Vulnerable Young People on Substance Use and Sexual and Reproductive Health

13 September 2016
Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow

View presentation videos here

You can download PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations here:

Jennifer Young, University of Stirling and Dr James Taylor, University of the West of Scotland.
Nina Vaswani, CYCJ, University of Strathclyde.
Felicity Snowsill and Linzi McKerrecher, Cool2Talk, NHS Tayside.

Innovative Approaches to Reduce Drug Deaths and Harms
International Overdose Awareness Day 

31 August 2016

Grand Central Hotel,  Glasgow

View photos of the day here / View presentation videos here

You can download the PDF versions of speakers' presentations here:

Leon Wylie, Hepatitis Scotland
Marcus Keane, Ana Liffey Drug Project, Dublin, Ireland
Prof. Sir John Strang, Kings College London
Dr Saket Priyadarshi & Mark Rodgers, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde.
Dr. Thilo Beck, Arud Centres for Addiction Medicine, Switzerland

Soapbar, Skunk, Annihilation... What's happening with cannabinoids?

16th March 2016
Grand Central Hotel,  Glasgow

View photos of the day here / View presentation videos here

You can download the PDF versions of speakers' presentations here:

Prevalence, Harms and Clinical Perspectives
- Dr Adam Winstock, Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist, Director of the Global Drugs Survey

Cannabis and Cannabinoids
- Celia Morgan, University of Exeter

Cannabis and Schizophrenia - a calculated risk?
- Martin Frisher, Keele University

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Drug Trends and Vulnerable Populations

30 April 2015

Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow

This conference looked at recently emerging issues and some of the service responses.

You can download PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations here:

Masterclass: 'Chemsex' among men who have sex with men: David Stuart, 56 Dean Street, London.
Lothian - bacterial infections in people who inject new psychoactive substance
: Dr Alison Potts, Health Protection Scotland.
Botulism infections in people who inject heroin in Scotland
: Dr Kirsty Roy, Health Protection Scotland.
Latest understandings - drug-related deaths in Scotland
: Lee Barnsdale, ISD NHS Scotland.
Trends in drug use in out of treatment street injectors
: Eleanor Lee, Glasgow Community Safety.
Grampian - New Psychoactive Substance Injecting
: Simon Pringle, Drugs Action.
Vulnerable Young People
: Laura Crombie and Jayne Preece, Clued Up Project.
Surviving the Depression! – Young Adults’ Views and Perceptions On the Value of a Drop-in Centr
e: Peter Nield, Barnardos Scotland.

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The 2014 Scottish Drugs Conference and Projects Fair

29 October 2014
Radisson Blue Hotel, Glasgow

You can download the available PowerPoint and PDF Presentations here (Opens in same window)....

National Drug Related Deaths Conference - "One Is Too Many"

29th August 2014
Apex Hotel, Dundee

This conference drew on a range of experience, both internationally and nationally, to address the causes of death among people who use drugs and allowed opportunities for networking, sharing good practice and planning for the future.

You can download PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations here:

Drug-Related Deaths in the US: Dan Bigg, Chicago Recovery Alliance.
Deaths Among People Who Use Drugs (who? what? how? when?) and How to Prevent Them: Professor John Strang.
Responses to Drug-Related Deaths in Northern Ireland: Chris Rintoul.
Opioid-Related Deaths and the National Naloxone Programme: Professor Sheila Bird.
DRD’s in Scotland and the National Forum on DRD’s Response: Dr Saket Priyadarshi.
Tackling Stigma with Naloxone Peer Education: Jason Wallace.
Involving Prison Officers in the Naloxone Programme: Bob Bartlett.
Pharmacy Involvement with Take-Home Naloxone and Peers: Dr Carole Hunter.
Scotland’s Drug-Deaths Database Report Findings: Dr Lesley Graham.

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Listening To Women

12 June 2014
The Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow

This conference looked at:

  • The voices of women affected by problem drug use
  • The views of experts on the issues women face
  • The experiences of staff working to innovate appropriate responses to these issues.

Speaker's included:

Dr Mary Hepburn, Special Needs in Pregnancy Service
May Riddell, Scottish Drugs Forum
Dr Margaret Malloch, Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research
Karaina Fyffe & Lesley Simpson, Social Work, Aberdeen
Anna Flaherty, Circle, Lanarkshire
Alex Cunningham, Aberlour
Morag Gallacher & Davina Dawson, North Ayrshire
Joyce Nicholson, STRADA

You can download a PDF version of all the speaker's Presentations here....

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Problem Drug Use, Welfare Reform and Recovery

30 April 2014
The George Hotel, Edinburgh

This conference looked to:

  • describe the impact of Welfare Reform on users of addiction and other services and on the work of the services themselves
  • showcase co-ordinated frontline service responses to Welfare Reform
  • outline the range of agencies that may be involved in improving responses to Welfare Reform including health, housing services and credit unions
  • be a networking opportunity for people to discuss possible joint work in this area.

A range of parallel sessions focused on practical responses to welfare reform including:

  • Measuring the impact of welfare reform and peer education responses
  • The Edinburgh addiction services response
  • The role of housing providers and of credit unions
  • The impact on residential and community addiction services.

You can download PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations here:

The Impacts of Welfare Reform: John Dickie, Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland.
Actions to mitigate impact of welfare reform on health and health services: Kate Burton, Scottish Public Health Network.
Edinburgh Addiction Services – Co-ordinating a Response to Welfare Reform: Laura Plumb, Recovery Essentials Financial Inclusion Project, EVOC.
Housing and Welfare – Opportunities and Challenges: Ann Marie Devlin, Depute CEO, North Glasgow Homes.
Service User Views of Welfare and Welfare Reform: Sean McCollum, Head of Operations, Scottish Drugs Forum.
The role of credit unions in reducing hardship: Craig Potter, 1st Alliance Credit Union and Ali Gilmore, Care and Share, Ayrshire.
Impact on users of services: Dr Joanne Smith, Tayside Substance Misuse Service.
Delivering the Edinburgh Co-ordinated Response: Yanni Yannoulis, Comas.
Scottish Government Drug Policy Unit’s work on welfare reform: Lester Macdonald and Biba Brand, Scottish Government.

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Frontline Response To Trauma – a key to recovery

27 November 2013
Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow

People who have experienced trauma are over-represented within the problem drug-using population.

Scottish Drugs Forum’s 2012 conference on self-medication explored the complex relationship between substance use and trauma-coping.  But how can treatment services respond to this phenomenon?

Frontline Response To Trauma: a key to recovery saw the official national launch of a major report on trauma and recovery among injecting drug users, a partnership between SDF and Professor Richard Hammersley.

You can download PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations here:

Recognising trauma: Professor Richard Hammersley, University of Hull.
Are frontline staff asking about trauma?: Isabel Traynor, Glasgow Addiction Services.
Supporting frontline staff and building service capacity: Lisa Reynolds, Glasgow Trauma Service.
Frontline staff role in supporting people in trauma: barriers and opportunities: Sarah Nelson, University of Edinburgh.
Promoting health among survivors of childhood trauma: Jennifer Upson, Glasgow Council on Alcohol.
Understanding and promoting mental health recovery: John McCormack, Scottish Recovery Network.

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Scottish Drugs Forum AGM & Conference

Building the Road to Recovery

29 October 2013
Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow

This conference was a collaboration between the Scottish Government and Scottish Drugs Forum to mark the 5th Anniversary of the national drugs strategy.

Much progress has been made since the publication of The Road to Recovery.  The conference sought to map the progress and identify the challenges that lie ahead. 

The conference focussed on key strategic themes:

  • Listening to the voices of those on their recovery journey
  • Improving service quality – promoting recovery
  • Supporting recovery through meaningful employment.

The conference featured work undertaken in Scotland on these themes and also gave wider perspectives from across Europe.

You can download PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations here:

User Involvement, key outcomes and achievements: Sean McCollum, Scottish Drugs Forum
Key factors of importance to recovery – relationships and respect: Tam & Suzanne, National Peer Research Team
Employment and moving on in recovery: Tracy & Martin, National Peer Research Team
Models from across Europe: Katrin Prins-Schiffer, Correlation Network
Key outcomes and achievements: Neil Stewart, Scottish Drugs Forum
Improving Service Quality – Good Practice Examples: Louise Tait, Mungo Foundation
Experience in other circumstances: Annette Dale-Perera, Central & NW London NHS Foundation
Developing service quality across Europe: Franz Trautman, Head Unit International Affairs, Trimbos Institute
Key outcome and achievements: Chris Messenger, Scottish Drugs Forum
Employment as a route to recovery: Stuart Fraser, Liberties Recycling Training and Development, Dublin, Ireland.

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What’s the problem? New Drugs Trends in Scotland

3 September 2013
Radisson Blu Hotel, Argyle Street, Glasgow

Scottish Drugs Forum organises an occasional conference on drug trends.  The 2013 trends conference - What’s the problem? New Drugs Trends in Scotland was jointly organized with Crew and took a specific focus on New Psychoactive Substances.

You can download PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations here:

New Substances – What are they?Jane Officer, Scottish Police Services Authority, Forensic Services.
Results of Crew’s Field Work Survey – trends amongst festival goers...a problem in the making? - Katy MacLeod, Crew.
Young people, pressures and drugs - Eric Carlin, Birkbeck College,University of London.
Results of SDF survey of drug issues arising in vulnerable populations and the support needs of frontline staff Neil Stewart, Scottish Drugs Forum National Quality Development Team.
Results of SDF Trends Survey of Treatment Services Austin Smith, Scottish Drugs Forum.
Sexual behaviours, sexual health and new substances - Dr Owen Bowden Jones, Club Drug Clinic, London.
Synthetic cannabinoids - Dr Malcolm Bruce, Consultant Psychiatrist in Addiction.
Frontline responses - Laura Dey, Crew.
Frontline responses - Kenny Malcolm, Incite.
Crew Flyer.

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Inside and Out – Criminal Justice & Substance Use

25 March 2013
COSLA Conference Centre, Edinburgh

This conference explored improving responses for people with substance problems within the Scottish criminal justice system at both policy and practice levels by improving understanding of the issues, service responses and roles.

You can download PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations here:

Women, substance users and the Criminal Justice system, Professor Gill McIvor, University of Stirling
Workshop 1: Women
Workshop 1: Families
Workshop 1: Young People
Workshop 2: Throughcare
Workshop 2: Recovery Services

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Self Medication – Addressing the roots of substance use to aid recovery

31 October 2012

Self medication is a key issue for many problem drug users and yet its identification and responses to it can seem almost haphazard where they exist at all.

This conference offered an opportunity to better understand four key aspects of self medication in substance misuse and how they may be addressed:

  • Mental health issues
  • Trauma
  • Pain
  • Learning disability and difficulty

The conference examined some of the evidence of the prevalence of these issues within the drug using populations and their links with substance use and also looked at good practice in partnership, joint working and other initiatives which attempt to address this.

You can download versions of the speakers’ presentations here:

The extent and nature of mental health issues among problem drug users and issues in treatment - Dr Charles Lind, Consultant in Substance Misuse
Mental Health, Substance Misuse and Suicide Prevention - Linda McCall, Axiom Consultancy
The Link between Trauma and Substance Misuse: Thinking about the unthinkable - Dr Lisa Reynolds, Clinical Lead, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Trauma & Homelessness Team
Trauma and Substance Misuse Good Practice - Dr Laura Barrie, Principal Clinical Psychologist, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Trauma & Homelessness Team
The Forgotten Co-morbidity: Chronic Pain and Substance Misuse - Doctors Michael Orgel (retired), Lesley Colvin, Rebecca Lawrence, NHS Lothian
Problem drug users with Learning Disabilities - Gary Docherty, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde
Acquired Brain Injury and Substance Misuse: A Need for a Paradigm Shift - Dr Oliver Aldridge, Clinical Lead, Edinburgh, Mid & East Lothian DTTO

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Looking Beyond Risk: Improving outcomes for children and families affected by parental substance problems

20 June 2012

Stirling Management Centre
University of Stirling

It is estimated that 150,000 children in Scotland have parents with a substance use problem. These children face a range of different issues and challenges. While a focus on child protection is always necessary, a wider perspective and aim of improving child welfare may improve the present and future lives of many more children. This conference identified the issues and challenges faced by these children and how outcomes can be improved.

You can download PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations here:

Children living in families with drug & alcohol problems: Professor Sally Haw, University of Stirling
Getting It Right for Every Child: Marj Stewart, Scottish Government (GIRFEC) Implementation Advisor
Early Intervention – Practice and Evidence: Dr Mary Hepburn, Glasgow Special Needs in Pregnancy Service
Families affected by parental substance misuse: Maura Daly, Circle Scotland
Social Work Case Management: Rhona Hunter, Circle Scotland
Time4us: Joanne Rankine & Karen Campbell, Signpost Recovery
A Co-Located Adult & Children’s Service Working Together: Lorna Field & Louise Learmonth, Children 1st
Children Affected by Parental Substance Misuse: Andrew Horne, Addaction Scotland

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Scottish Drugs Forum AGM and Seminar Event

29 November

The Jury’s Inn Hotel, Jamaica Street, Glasgow

Scottish Drugs Forum’s 2011 AGM and Seminar Event highlighted developments in key policy and practice areas since the publication of The Road To Recovery strategy and discussed how these could be built on to improve outcomes for drug users.

The event saw expert speakers from key policy areas outline the extent and nature of progress.

You can download PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations here:

Employability - Aidan McCorry, Apex Scotland
Reducing drug-related deaths in Scotland:Progress to date and challenges moving forward - Andrew McAuley, NHS Health Scotland
User Involvement - Barbara Zaman, Dumfries & Galloway ADP
Early years and getting it right for every child - Boyd McAdam, Scottish Government
Community and Residential Rehab - Christine Buntrock, Turning Point Scotland
Prison and the Criminal Justice System: Progress and Challenges - David Liddell, Scottish Drugs Forum
Welfare Reform - Maggie Kelly, Poverty Alliance
Homelessness and progress towards 2012 - Matt Howarth, Scottish Government
Viral Hepatitis in Scotland - Nicola Rowan, Scottish Government.

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Prescribing to problem drug users - delivering person-centred care

22 September
Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow

The Road to Recovery strategy stresses the importance of person-centred care in assisting people in their recovery; ‘Recovery is… an aspirational, person-centred process.’

Three years on, this conference explored how prescribing options and innovative models of care management and delivery can deliver person-centered care within the constraints of resources presently being experienced.

You can download PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations here:

The role of opiate substitution - Roy Robertson, University of Edinburgh
The roles of benzodiazepines - Laura Freeman, University of Glasgow
The potential of naltrexone implants - Lucy Cockayne, NHS Lothian
Prescribing for stimulant users - Malcolm Bruce, NHS Lothian
Buprenorphine: The French experience of substitution 1 - Marc Auriacombe, l'Université de Bordeaux
Buprenorphine: The French experience of substitution 2 - Marc Auriacombe, l'Université de Bordeaux
User perspectives on options and how the services are delivered - SDF National User Involvement Group
The psychiatrist and the third sector provider: effective bedfellows? - Allison Battersby, Plymouth Primary Care Trust
Considering cost, quality and safety in different models of prescribing services - Saket Priyadarshi , Glasgow Addiction Services 
Voluntary sector role in prescribing and care - Hugh Robertson, Addaction, Dumfries and Galloway.

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Tackling Drug Deaths: Putting Evidence into Action

30 March
Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow

The rate of drug-related deaths in Scotland is amongst the highest in Europe.

This conference offered an opportunity to view wider UK and international perspectives and evidence to define practical means to tackle this issue.

From the potential impact of Naloxone on overdose deaths to drug deaths due to bacterial infection, blood borne viruses, suicide and other factors, this conference looked at means by which all drug-related deaths could be reduced.

You can download PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations here:

Reducing Drug Users’ Risk of Overdose: Trends and Responses - Andy Rome, Figure 8 Consultancy Services
Overview of drug-induced deaths in Europe (and a perspective in Scotland) situation and responses - Julian Vicente, João Matias, Dagmar Hedrich, Isabelle Giraudon, EMCDDA
Drugs, Co-morbidity and Suicide 2011 - Greg Burgess SAMH and Stephen Malloy SDF
Non-fatal illicit opiate drugs overdose attending A&E in North Glasgow - Karen Smart SDF
Response to Non Fatal Overdose - Lisa Ross SDF
Learning from near misses - Mandy Young, Fife Overdose Prevention Co-ordinator
Not only overdose - Drug-related deaths - what we really should know - Roy Robertson The University of Edinburgh
Overdose Education & Naloxone Distribution - Sarz Maxwell MD FASAM
User Perceptions on Naloxone - SDF and National User Involvement Volunteers
Bugs and Drugs Infections associated with illegal drug use - Dr Kirsty Roy, Epidemiologist, Health Protection Scotland
Preventing heroin overdose deaths: the potential of naloxone - Professor John Strang - National Addiction Centre.

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Legal Highs - Where are we now?

30 September 

Scotland’s first national conference on so-called ‘legal highs’ was hosted by Scottish Drugs Forum in Perth on 30 September 2010.

The conference heard from a wide range of speakers including police, service planners, frontline service and academic stakeholders.

The emerging picture of harm done by these substances has led to new harm reduction messages and to the development of online peer support.

Those working in the drugs field as well as generic services in touch with drug users and the wider community are developing means of keeping abreast of developments.

You can download the speakers’ PDF presentations here:

What's going on? Results of Survey of frontline and acute services - Austin Smith, Scottish Drugs Forum
Toxic and other effects: why legal highs are a problem - Dr Paul Skett, Glasgow Expert Witness Service
On the frontline 1 - Gareth Balmer, Addaction Dundee Direct Access Service
Stimulating credible responses to legal highs - John Arthur and Katy MacLeod, CREW
Police perspectives and enforcement - Kenny Cameron, Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency
On the frontline 2 - Kenny Malcolm, Incite, Aberdeenshire
Evolving Harm Reduction through on-line peer education - John Campbell, Greater Glasgow & Clyde Legal Highs Monitoring Group.

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Housing, Homelessness and Substance Misuse: developing effective responses

8 February

This event launched important recommendations by the Homelessness and Substance Misuse Advisory Group on the design and delivery of effective services which prevent homelessness and address substance use.

The Advisory Group was established to advise the Scottish Government on breaking the link between homelessness and alcohol and drug misuse so that homelessness was not caused by or a cause of substance misuse.

The recommendations published at the event set out the basis for addressing the complex relationship between homelessness and substance use.

You can: Download the recommendations in Effective Services for Substance Misuse and Homelessness in Scotland: The recommendations of the Advisory Group on Homelessness and Substance Misuse (PDF 339kb).

You can also download the speakers’ PDF presentations here:

Housing for drug users: A Dutch model - Alex Roomer, Irisz Org, Holland
Enabling access to the private rented sector for recovering drug users - Amy Hutton, Safe Space
Prevention of Homelessness - Dundee Families Project
A Scottish Housing First Model - Ian Irvine, Turning Point Scotland
North East Community Alcohol Support Service - Sean Cussen, GEAAP
Recommendations from the Advisory Group - Val Holtom, Advisory Group

> Click here for Conference Presentation Archive.

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