The SSA’s Annual Conference is the UK’s foremost gathering of addiction researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and experts by experience. Read about the confirmed speakers and sessions for the 2024 conference, and book your ticket now to benefit from early-bird savings.

1. Keynote speaker

Professor Ann McNeill will give the Society Lecture at the 2024 Annual Conference on the topic of ‘Tobacco harm reduction – controversies and potential resolutions’. Ann is Professor of Tobacco Addiction in the Department of Addictions at King’s College London.

2. Symposia organised by members and associates

Addressing public priorities for alcohol research

Tackling heavy drinking, preventing alcohol-related liver disease, and promoting holistic recovery are major priorities in addiction research. In this symposium, Dr Katy Jones, Dr Stefan Rennick-Egglestone, and Dr Mohsen Subhani will present three substantial and interlinked pieces of multidisciplinary work. They will conclude with a discussion of how knowledge from mental health research can be applied to addiction. Their aims for the symposium are for attendees to leave with concrete ideas about what to prioritise for future research in alcohol, to understand the importance of recovery and how to document it, to learn how to integrate lived experience meaningfully in research, and to consider the challenges and benefits of running randomised controlled trials in this field.

Reducing illicit drug use in young people

There is currently little evidence available on how to successfully reduce the demand for drugs among young people, particularly recreational drugs. In this symposium, Dr Chris Retzler, Fiona Spargo-Mabbs, and Zoë Welch will present three approaches to educating young people about illicit substances. All involve collaborations between a range of partners, including policymakers, people with lived experience, and young people. The symposium will enable discussion around the evidence base for such interventions and ways to incorporate the voices of young people and experts by experience in effective intervention design.

Emerging approaches for improving the study and understanding of gambling-related harm

In this symposium, Dr Steve Sharman, Dr Sasha Stark, and Professor Amanda Roberts will present innovative co-produced work to bolster the quality, rigour, and applicability of research in the gambling field, and to address significant gaps in our understanding of gambling-related harm. The panel of experts will share emerging research that demonstrates meaningful involvement of people with lived experience, employs novel methods, and addresses considerations around research integrity and validity. Both individually and collectively, their studies represent significant advances in the field, with the potential for significant impact and wider reaching policy implications.

3. Plenary and special sessions

Details to be announced

4. Delegate presentations

Details to be announced