Tuesday 6th September: New Drugs mini-conference

On Tuesday 6th September, we will come together for the final event in our ESRC new drugs seminar series which will be held at the University of Kent in Grimmond Lecture Theatre 2.

The aims of the day are:

(i) to consolidate what we have learnt from previous seminars

(ii) to showcase work from our special issue in the International Journal of Drug Policy

(ii) to connect with a wider audience

(iv) to consider the intersections between new drug research and research on existing drug use, drug cultures, drug markets, drug interventions, drug policy etc.


Please see below for a draft version of the programme:

9.30-10.00: Refreshments and registration

10.00-10.30 – What have we learnt so far?  Introduction to the day (Dr Caroline Chatwin, University of Kent)

10.30 – 12.00: Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs: spotlight on steroids (Chaired by Dr. Katinka van de Ven)

Ask Vest Christiansen, Aarhus University, Denmark: Outline of a typology of anabolic androgenic steroid use in gyms and fitness environments

Gisella Hanley Santos (based on research conducted in conjunction with Ross Coomber), Plymouth University: Examining the motivations, practices and accounts of users of steroids and other performance and image enhancing drugs

Alexandra Hall (based on research conducted with Georgios Antonopoulos), Teeside University: Illicit supply and consumer demand of steroids in the UK.


12.00-13.00: lunch

 13.00-14.00: Roundtable: New drugs and the ‘bigger picture’ (Chaired by Dr. Kate O’Brien)

A collection of eminent drug researchers consider the impact that new drugs have had on the work that they do, for example in reconstituting the way that we think about legislating for the control of drugs, designing interventions to help people who use drugs, and understanding the way that drugs are bought and sold.

Participants include Professor Susanne McGregor (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), Professor Dave Boothroyd (University of Lincoln), Professor Shane Blackman (Canterbury Christchurch University), Dr. Axel Klein (Global Drug Policy Observatory, Swansea University), and Professor Alex Stevens (University of Kent).


14.00-14.30: tea and coffee


14.30 – 16.00: New Psychoactive Substances (Chaired by Dr. Nina O’Neill)

Bryce Pardo, University of Maryland, USA: New Psychoactive Substances: Is a regulated legal market feasible?

Rob Ralphs, Manchester Metropolitan University: Adding Spice to the Porridge: the development of a synthetic cannabinoid market in an English prison

Mireia Ventura and Pol Quintana, Energy Control, Barcelona: The deep web and the fentanyl problem: detection of ocfentanil as an adulterant in heroin.



16.00-17.00: Roundtable: Where next for new drugs research? (Chaired by Dr. Gary Potter)

A collection of key stakeholders in the new drugs debate consider what research is needed in order to further understand this complex field.

Participants include Rick Bradley (Addaction), Charlotte Davies (freelance drug policy consultant), Professor Harry Sumnall (Liverpool John Moores University), Josie Smith (Public Health Wales), Martin Chandler (freelance human enhancement drugs researcher), and Mike Rolfe (prison service).

17.00-18.00: Drinks reception in Grimond Foyer


This event is free to attend.  Please register here to confirm your attendance:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/kent-final-event-tickets-25509906818



Travel directions

The event will be held at the University of Kent in Canterbury.  It will be located in Lecture Theatre 2 in the Grimmond Building.  Please find details of how to find the University of Kent, and the Grimmond Building here.

If arriving by train, you will need to either walk (about 1.5 miles uphill) or get a bus or a taxi up the hill to the campus.

Please note that visitor parking permits are available on request.  Please email and let me know if you require one.



I have a small number of rooms booked in student halls of residence for the night of the 5th September.  Please contact me if you would like to reserve one of these rooms.

There is plenty of alternative accommodation in Canterbury itself for those who prefer to stay there.  For example, you could try the Cathedral Lodege Hotel, the Falstaff, the Abode, or the House of Agnes Guest House.