DRNS Conference 2019

DRNS conference banner 2019
25th November, 2019, Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow

Drugs research: priorities for the future

On the 25th November 2019, the Drugs Research Network Scotland (DRNS) was pleased to hold their second annual conference titled Drugs research: priorities for the future. Supported by the Society for the Study of Addiction, the one-day conference was designed to help the Scottish drugs research community to produce more effective and impactful research. The day included a series of presentations and workshops, as well as academic posters authored by researchers from across the UK. The event was fully subscribed, and we hosted around 140 delegates, including academic and peer researchers, Masters and PhD students, researchers from the NHS, third sector service providers, and people with lived/living experience of drug use. This report provides a summary of the event.

Delegate comments and photos are available on our Twitter feed @DRNScot, including tweets containing the event hashtag #DRNS2019.

A delegate pack was circulated in advance of the event and included: the conference programme; workshop details; speakers’ 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.

Morning Plenary Sessions

Professor Roy Robertson, University of Edinburgh What research has led to policy or practice changes that improved the lives or care of your patients?

Dr Magdalena Harris, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Researching injecting related risk and protection: the importance of peer and community involvement. Slides

Morning Parallel Sessions

Families. Chair: Dr Anne Whittaker, University of Stirling.

  • Dr Louise Marryat, Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh: Developing a new cohort of children born to women who used opioids in pregnancy using administrative data: insights into cohort creation and linking of administrative datasets. Slides
  • Penelope Laycock, University of Strathclyde: Adult Children of Problem Drinkers in Glasgow: Preliminary Findings. Slides
  • Katherine Long, Corra Foundation: Connections are Key: Unlocking the Heart of Relationship-Based Practice. Slides
  • Professor Anne Whittaker: Engaging opioid-dependent men in a whole family parenting and child welfare intervention: lessons learned from the PUP4Dads study. Slides

Health, Social Care & Wellbeing. Chair: Dr Alison Munro, University of Dundee.

  • Andrew Radley, NHS Practitioners, with collaborators from University of Dundee: Clinical effectiveness of Pharmacy-led versus conventionally delivered antiviral treatment for Hepatitis C in patients receiving opioid substitution therapy. Slides
  • Cassandra Baino, Scottish Graduate Entry Medicine: Evaluating and communicating Hepatitis C Cascades of Care data: A Journey towards elimination in Tayside, Scotland. Slides
  • Dimitar Karadzhov, PhD Candidate, Centre for Health Policy, University of Strathclyde: False Strength: Exploring the Role of Problem Substance Use in the Personal Recovery in Adults Transitioning out of Chronic Homelessness: A Transatlantic Qualitative Study. Slides
  • Dr Trina Ritchie, Lead Clinician, Greater Glasgow and Clyde Alcohol and Drug Services: Barriers to Optimal Methadone and Buprenorphine Doses. Slides

Harms. Chair: Dr Aileen O’Gorman, University of the West of Scotland.

  • Dr Aileen O’Gorman: Risk environments and social autopsies: the context of drug-related harms and drug-related deaths.
  • Kirsten Trayner, PhD Candidate, Glasgow Caledonian University and Honorary Epidemiologist, Health Protection, Scotland: Increased Risk of HIV and other drug-related harms associated with injecting in public places. Slides
  • Rowan Anderson: Gender specific harms: the experience by women who use drugs.
  • Frances Matthewson, Public Health and Deborah Stewart, NHS Highland: Drug related deaths of young people in NHS Highland. Slides
  • Dr Eilidh Moir, Drug Death Analyst, NHS Tayside: Drug related deaths in Tayside. Slides

Blood Borne Viruses. Chair: Dr Emily Tweed, University of Glasgow.

  • Madeleine Caven, University of Dundee: Impact of Hepatitis C treatment on substance use and injecting behaviour: a systematic review. Slides
  • Dr Norah Palmateer, NHS Tayside: Reduction In The Population Prevalence Of Chronic HCV Among People Who Inject Drugs Associated With Major Scale-Up Of Direct-Acting Antiviral Therapy In Community Drug Services. Slides
  • Madeleine Caven, University of Dundee: Hepatitis C Diagnosis and Treatment, Impact on Engagement and Behaviour of People Who Inject Drugs, the Hooked C project. Slides
  • Jennifer Kelly, Pharmacist Independent Prescriber, Glasgow Alcohol Drug Recovery Service: Eliminating Hepatitis C in at risk groups – Achieving 100% testing in city centre opioid agonist therapy cohort and ensuring successful linkage to treatment. Slides

Prevention. Chair: Professor Betsy Thom, Middlesex University London.

  • Professor Betsy Thom: Prevention approaches in Scotland – where to now? Slides

Afternoon Plenary Sessions

Professor Adam Winstock, University College London: Scotland and the challenges of moderation. Slides

Professor Fiona Measham, University of Liverpool: Partnerships in Research: reflections on unlikely, unusual and productive partnerships.

Afternoon Workshops

A. An introduction to realist evaluation

Dr Fiona Harris, University of Stirling. Slides

B. Literature review methodologies

Dr Steve MacGillivray, University of Dundee. Slides

C. An introduction to complex systems thinking

Dr Mark McCann and Dr Claudia Zucca, University of Glasgow. Slides

D. Putting peers at the centre of research on reducing harms: reflections on the SHARPS project

Josh Dumbrell, Wez Steele, Peer Navigators, The Salvation Army. Dr Hannah Carver, University of Stirling. Slides

E. Academic Input to the Drug Related Death Crisis

Professor Catriona Matheson, University of Stirling. Slides

Closing notes      

Dr Tessa Parkes, DRNS Deputy Convenor and Professor Anthony Shakeshaft, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Slides

Oral and Poster Presentations

DRNS were delighted to welcome the following authors who each displayed a poster of their drug related research during the conference. The posters were judged by Dr Gillian Tober, Addiction Psychologist, trainer and co-founder of RESULT.

Cassandra Baiano from Scottish Graduate Entry Medicine was awarded the prize for best poster, £200 towards conference attendance and other professional development activities.

  • Martin Anderson – Evaluating the implementation of the SAan Patriagnano drug recovery model in Scotland.
  • Cassandra Baiano – Evaluating and Communicating Hepatitis C Cascades of Care Data: A Journey Towards Elimination in Tayside, Scotland.
  • Harriet Bloomfield – Understanding the motivations and context behind non-prescribed benzodiazepine use in the UK: a mixed-method analysis.
  • Hannah Carver – 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.
  • Madeleine Caven – Hepatitis C Diagnosis and Treatment, Impact on Engagement and Behaviour of People Who Inject Drugs, the Hooked C project.
  • Madeleine Caven – Impact of Hepatitis C treatment on substance use and injecting behaviour: a systematic review.
  • Sarah Donaldson – A Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping exercise to assess the need for Injecting Equipment Provision (IEP) services and overdose prevention activities in Tayside.
  • Sarah Donaldson – “Ask a Friend” Identifying the hidden population:  Former intravenous drug users who are no longer in contact with services.  A respondent driven sampling protocol.
  • Dimitar Karadzhov – Dual recovery in Problem Substance Use and Homelessness.
  • Penelope Laycock – Adult Children of Problem Drinkers in Glasgow: Preliminary Findings.
  • Katherine Long – Connections are Key: Getting to the Heart of Relationship-Based Practice.
  • Louise Marryat – Developing a new cohort of children born to women who used opioids in pregnancy using administrative data: insights into cohort creation and linking of administrative datasets.
  • Frances Matthewson – Review of Drug Related Deaths (DRD) of Younger People in Highland (age 16-25).
  • Joanna Miler – Provision of peer support at the intersection of homelessness and substance use services: a ‘state of the art’ review. 
  • Eilidh Moir – Drug Deaths in Tayside: An ongoing analysis.
  • Norah Palmateer – Reduction In The Population Prevalence Of Chronic HCV Among People Who Inject Drugs Associated With Major Scale-Up Of Direct-Acting Antiviral Therapy In Community Drug Services.
  • Claire Parks – Unexpected Detection of Fentanyl in Fatalities in Scotland.
  • Andrew Radley – SuperDOT-C: Pharmacy-led versus conventionally delivered antiviral treatment for hepatitis C in patients receiving opioid substitution therapy.
  • Andrew Radley – Using a systems-thinking approach to elucidate programme theory underpinning the effectiveness of SuperDOT-C: a pharmacy-led test and treat pathway for people with hepatitis c infection prescribed opioid substitution therapy.
  • Trina Ritchie – Eliminating Hepatitis C in at risk groups – Achieving 100% testing in city centre opioid agonist therapy cohort and ensuring successful linkage to treatment.
  • Trina Ritchie – Improved recovery outcomes with injectable prolonged-release buprenorphine in an opioid agonist therapy clinic in Glasgow.
  • Trina Ritchie – Novel benzodiazepine-type drug use in opioid agonist clinics in Glasgow.
  • Joe Schofield – Developing national research infrastructure and activity: the role of a new drugs research network.
  • Alice Seywright – Synthetic Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists in Post-Mortem Casework in Scotland.
  • Kirsten Trayner – Increased risk of HIV and other-related harms associated with injecting in public places: national bio-behavioural survey of people who inject drugs.
  • Emily Tweed – How does ‘inclusion health’ feature in UK-relevant policy reviews of health inequalities? A document analysis.
  • Anne Whittaker – Engaging opioid-dependent men in a whole family parenting and child welfare intervention: lessons learned from the PuP4Dads study.