On the 15th of November 2013, the Third Annual HIT Hot Topics Conference was held at FACT in Liverpool. It was a wonderful day with a great group of speakers. The delegates enjoyed these sessions and workshops:
Greg is the director of research for the Chicago Recovery Alliance, one of the first harm reduction organisations in the world to distribute “take home naloxone” to opioid users, their friends and families. He’s also the founder of Sawbuck Productions, Inc., and an Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Social Science Research Center at DePaul University in Chicago.
Greg presented on the philosophy of ‘Any Positive Change’ focusing on using a harm reduction approach. He also presented a workshop on activist filmmaking.
Mat is a partner in the technical support agency CoAct. He has a long history as drugs practitioner and manager and also as a drug user activist. He has championed partnership working between drug services and the drug using community and has a specialist interest in the employment of people who use drugs.
Mat presented on the challenges of ensuring that people who use drugs who are employed by services are properly supported.
Kirsten is National Naloxone Coordinator at the Scottish Drugs Forum. She provides training, development and coordination for Scotland’s life-saving national programme, which is fully funded and supported by the Scottish Government.
Kirsten presented on the latest statistics around naloxone distribution in Scotland and the challenges that are still ongoing.
Max is a journalist and author specialising in illegal drugs, crime and social affairs. He edited Druglink magazine for eight years. His book, Narcomania: How Britain Got Hooked on Drugs was published in paperback in October.
Max spoke about the UK’s relationship with drugs and how this has been changing in recent years.
Shelly, formerly of the Armistead Street Project, is Interim Manager at SAFE Place Merseyside. In 2006, Shelly became Britain’s first specialist Independent Sexual Violence Adviser for sex workers. She was a key person in the implementation of the Merseyside model, in which violence against sex workers is viewed as a hate crime.
Shelly spoke about sex work in the UK with a special focus on Liverpool where she’s based. She also discussed the service needs of sex workers.
Kirstie has been Head of Legal Services since January 2012, having joined Release as a solicitor in 2008. Before joining Release Kirstie practised as a solicitor specialising in criminal defence. She answers readers’ legal questions in Drink and Drugs News.
Kirstie presented on the disparities in the policing of drug offences that leads to black people being stopped and searched 6 times more often than white people.
Karenza is Lecturer in Criminology in the Department of Applied Social Science, at Lancaster University. Her research includes emergent drug trends and gender and drug use. In 2011 she co-authored an article on the emergence of mephedrone with Fiona Measham, Russell Newcombe and Zoe Welch, which won the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Abuse (EMCDDA) Scientific Paper of the Year.
Karenza spoke about doing research in clubs and bars. She also covered how this allows greater identfication of emerging drug trends.
Russell is a specialist researcher, trainer and lecturer on drug use, and helped to pioneer the harm-reduction movement in Merseyside from the mid-1980s. His main interests include trends in drug use and drug problems; the psychological and social effects of drugs; harm reduction interventions; and the scientific evaluation of drug strategies and services. Since April 2010 Russell has been Director of 3D Research, an independent drugs research and training agency based in Liverpool.
Russell spoke about the way that new styles of drugs are changing the ways people use them and the approaches we need to support them.
Mike has worked as a freelance journalist for British newspapers including the Guardian, Mail on Sunday, Sunday Herald, Druglink and The Big Issue. He is the author of Drugs 2.0, described by Metro as “This summer’s must-read book…well-researched, informative and often funny look at a web-based narcotics industry.”
Mike spoke about the topics raised in his book with the changing landscape of drugs.
Gill is a Registered General Nurse and trainer with an extensive experience of work within the HIV and sexual health sector. She has robust knowledge around blood-borne viruses, sexually transmitted infections and TB. Gill presented a workshop session around sex and sexual health issues. This is based on some of the training she delivered for HIT.