Society for the Study of Addiction Annual Conference 2022

Society for the Study of Addiction Blog Post

3rd-4th November Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel

In a parallel universe which turned out to be this one, earlier in the year I was given a place on an MSc in Mental Health and Substance Use (Dual Diagnosis) via Middlesex University. Happily the Society for the Study of Addiction awarded me a bursary and after 22 years (since I was just 7 obv.) of winging it on my experience in the field, I’m getting my brain into shape to consolidate some of that finally.

Being the sociable conference butterfly that I usually am, off I trundled to Bristol with some trepidation. Now, I’m very used to socialising at such things and you can often me find me nearest the buffet, but they are usually with my Changes UK crew or surrounded by Birmingham services and people I have known for many years.¬† I found myself quite nervous about being in a new kind of academic environment, even with it being addiction focussed.

After a traffic heavy journey, and once I’d navigated to a dreadful NCP car park, the Grand Hotel was a welcome site, as were the pastries.

During the poster session where research was being displayed I was pleased to discover that with time served I knew a lot about some of the topic areas and had some great conversations.

Recovery of Neuropsychological Function Following Alcohol Abstinence Anna Powell

Recovery of Neuropsychological Function Following Alcohol Abstinence

Exploring Women's Recoveries Through Personal Objects

Exploring Women’s Recoveries Through Personal Objects

My particular highlights were Dr. April Shaw who presented on her study of the benefits of the object elicitation method with women in recovery. It explored the meaning women gave to particularly cherished objects which represent them and their recovery. Powerful stuff.


Also the very lovely Anna Powell and her research on the recovery of neuropsychological function following Alcohol abstinence.

At the evening drinks reception, I had an enlightening conversation with Leon Xiao who had presented on gambling and loot boxes within gaming. I felt ancient in comparison and when I felt the need to tell him about the Amiga 500 I may as well have got my slippers out and put on the wireless.

I’d like to mention my lunchtime friend Alison Mather from QAAD who kept me in good company as we put the whole world to rights over a plate of buffet fare. By a coincidence we discovered she previously worked for Crime Concern, which my very first project CASCADE back in 2000 was a part of. Also good to speak to Christine Goodair from St George’s London, who has worked on drug related death data which I had only been looking up the previous day in preparation for some training I am delivering soon.

Attending was beneficial for my knowledge and my confidence as well as giving me direction for my future endeavours and ideas for my own research. I always advise getting out of your comfort zone and for once I took my own advice. Maybe one year I’ll be up there doing my thing too. MANIFEST!

Thank you to the Society for the Study of Addiction and all speakers for a positive experience.


Twitter @StaceyInspire