DRNS Conference 2018

On the 28th November 2018 the DRNS was pleased to hold our first annual conference, a fully sold-out event that attracted 120 delegates including academic and peer researchers, post-graduate students, early career researchers, health and care providers, third sector agencies and people with lived and living experience of drug use.

Thanks to a funding grant from the Society for the Study of Addiction we were able to capture a range of outputs from the event, which are presented here for delegates and others with an interest in drugs research in Scotland and beyond.

Delegate comments and photos are available on our Twitter feed @DRNScot, including tweets containing the event hashtag #DRNS2018.

delegate pack was circulated in advance of the event and included: the conference programme; workshop details; speakers’ and workshop facilitators’  biographies; and travel, accessibility, and contact information.

We hope you find these resources helpful and welcome your feedback on this event and associated issues for drugs research in Scotland.

Conference report

Our post-conference report provides a summary of presentations, workshops and posters, and a list of delegates who consented to share their contact details.

Plenary presentations

1. Research into policy: some examples of success.
Professor Alex Stevens, University of Kent

Slides.     Video.

2. Getting good ideas into practice – implementation science and service improvements
Professor Tracy Finch, University of Kent.

Slides.     Video.

3. Getting published: a how-to guide.
Professor Betsy Thom, Middlesex University & DRNS.

Slides.     Video.

4. Using non-academic methods in knowledge exchange.
Professor Harry Sumnall, Liverpool John Moores University.

Slides.     Video.


A. Democratising drugs research? Navigating the evidence and building on people’s experience to make it work for everyone.
Jason Wallace, Scottish Drugs Forum; Dr Gillian Tober, Leeds Addiction Unit; Dr Tessa Parkes, University of Stirling & DRNS.

Slides.     Handout.

B. Preparing a strong grant application.
Prof. Kate Hunt, University of Stirling.


C. The power of large datasets and data linkage.  
Lee Barnsdale, NHS Information Services Division; Suhail Iqbal, Administrative Data Research Centre.

Lee’s slidesSuhail’s slides.

D. Research ethics and governance in drugs research.
Dr Anne Whittaker, University of Stirling & DRNS


E. Communicating research effectively with policy makers.
Carol Brown, Scottish Government


F. Research into policy and practice: Successful case studies from a clinical/practitioner perspective.
Prof. Roy Robertson, University of Edinburgh; David Liddell, Scottish Drugs Forum

Dave’s slides.     Roy’s slides.

Poster presentations

Using object elicitation methods in qualitative interviews.
April Shaw, PhD candidate, University of Glasgow.

Developing a theory of social isolation and loneliness in a cohort of older male drug users.
A mixed method evaluation of NHS Tayside’s injecting equipment provision services.
Emma Hamilton, Scottish Drugs Forum & University of Glasgow.

Alternative voices of recovery: exploring the meaning of recovery for people on methadone treatment.
Karen Black, Turning Point Scotland & University of the West of Scotland.

Spore-forming bacteria infections and people who inject drugs: implications for harm reduction.
Dr. Karen Dunleavy, University of the West of Scotland.

Stakeholder perspectives of drug harm reduction policy in Scotland.
Dr. Louise Marryat, University of Edinburgh.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis for people who inject drugs: results from an exploratory study carried out during an ongoing HIV outbreak in Glasgow.
Dr. Matthew Smith, Glasgow Caledonian University.

Exploring the multidimensional nature of the use of substances by young people and the associated problematic consequences.
Dr. Paul Rogon, Glasgow Caledonian University.

The role of personal spiritual rituals among individuals in recovery from problematic substance use: implications for drug and alcohol workers.
Dr. Peter Hillen, Napier University.

Should we regulate cannabis?  A case study on beliefs around regulation in Uruguay.
Rachel Barry, University of Edinburgh.

Supporting harm reduction through peer support (SHARPS): testing the feasibility and acceptability of a peer-delivered, relational intervention for people with problem substance use who are homeless, to improve health outcomes, quality of life and social functioning, and reduce harms.
Rebecca Foster, University of Stirling.

Exploring Scotland’s early interventions and diversions.
Tracey Price, University of Stirling.