Rising levels of new psychoactive substances and other new drugs have been observed around the globe as new technologies for their advertisement and dissemination have developed. The Coalition Government in the UK, and international bodies and institutions around the world, have called for a focus on developing policies that limit their harm and implementing strategies that help to appraise users of their potential risks: they have widely been described as the new challenge facing both policymakers and practitioners. Despite the prioritisation of this issue, a coherent and extensive social research agenda in this area that seeks to evaluate policies and their consequences, critically assess official discourses and explore the needs and experiences of users does not yet exist. Without this evidence base it is impossible for policymakers to make informed decisions or practitioners to implement standards of best practice. It is the intention of this seminar series to bring academics from many social research related disciplines and working at many different levels together with practitioners and policymakers to develop and shape, in partnership, a social research agenda on new psychoactive substances and other new drugs that will, in turn, be used to inform both policy and practice.

Main Aims and Objectives

  1. To showcase existing social research on new psychoactive substances and other new drugs and to inspire new avenues of research and new collaborations of research partners;
  2. To engage policymakers and practitioners in a dialogue with academics so that future policies and practices can be informed by research, and so that future research agendas can be informed by the needs of policymakers and practitioners.
  3. To explore the development and framing of the emergent debates about new psychoactive substances and other new drugs and their connections and disconnections with the field of established illegal drugs.

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