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RETHINKING DRUG ADDICTION

Tuesday 22 October: 6:00pm - 7:30pm

St John's College Fisher Building, St John’s Street, CB2 1TP

Our current stance on Class A drugs is not working. Is the lack of success in reducing the harm drug-users do to themselves or others a matter of economics, politics, ethics or education? Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College, chairs a discussion on safer drug use and the research on drug consumption rooms.

Panel Chair: Dr Rowan Williams

Panel members:

Fiona Godlee
Editor in Chief of The BMJ. Qualified doctor, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. She has written and lectured on a broad range of issues, including health and the environment, the ethics of academic publishing, evidence based medicine, access to clinical trial data, research integrity, open access publishing, patient partnership, conflict of interest, and overdiagnosis and overtreatment.

Fiona is honorary professor at the Netherlands School for Primary Care Research (CaRe), honorary fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners, a senior visiting fellow at the Institute of Public Health at the University of Cambridge, honorary fellow of the Faculty of Public Health and a by-fellow of King’s College Cambridge. She is on the advisory or executive boards of the Health Improvement Studies (THIS) Institute, Alltrials, the Peer Review Congress, the International Forum for Quality and Safety and Healthcare, Evidence Live, Preventing Overdiagnosis, the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change and the Climate and Health Council.

Fiona was a Harkness Fellow (1994-5), President of the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) (1998-2000), Chair of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) (2003-5), and PPA Editor of the Year (2014). Fiona is co-editor of Peer Review in Health Sciences.

Johannes Lenhard
A published researcher within the European homeless sector. Three years researching people on the street and their institutional surroundings in London and two years of fieldwork in Paris (with additional context on Copenhagen and San Francisco).

Johannes main interest and argument is as follows: “I am seeing lots of people in situation of housing exclusion / homelessness suffering additionally because of their addiction problems (often linked also to mental health issues). In most contexts addiction will lead to further exclusion (e.g. not being able to access housing because of it). I believe that there is an ideological bias - particularly pronounced in the US - supported often by the pedal structure criminalising drugs that leads to these effects. Thinking about the American war on drugs in particular, how we treat a big proportion of homeless people won’t change unless we as society change our way of treating the addiction they are living with (which in itself is often linked to the situation of homelessness rather than being a causal factor). I am interested in discussing how we can move more quickly and comprehensively to a context of harm reduction rather than criminalisation (as out into place for instance in Copenhagen, Geneva or areas of Portugal) also given the overwhelming evidence that economically and health-wise it makes absolute sense to do so.”

Vicki Markiewicz
Executive Director, Change Live Grow (CGL) and has worked in the substance misuse sector since 1998 and benefits from years of valuable experience in a range of different roles. After completing a MA Degree in Criminology from the University of Cambridge, Vicki worked on the frontline (HMP Wormwood Scrubs and Brixton) and the community. Vicki then worked for the Home Office Drugs Prevention Advisory Service before joining Hertfordshire County Council as a commissioner. Vicki has spent the past ten years working for Change Grow Live, a Health and Social Care Charity, as Executive Director for the East, London and South East.
CGL provides health and social care services support to adults, children, young people and families. CGL currently delivers the contact for addiction support services in Cambridge.

Person with Lived Experience

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Telephone number:
01223 766766

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Age: Adults, Talk, Arrive on time, Free

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