Tuesday, November 17, 2015

NDSAG Annual Conference 40th celebration - Bradford 2016

40th Annual International NDSAG Conference
Thursday 21st – Sunday 24th April 2016 – Midland Hotel, Bradford, UK

“Not all alcohol problems are dose related” (Ron McKechnie)

Disease Model – Controlled Drinking – Excessive Appetites – Harm Reduction – Brief
Interventions – Motivational Interviewing – Relapse Prevention – Cycle of Change –
Project Match – UKATT – Drug Speak – Recovery movements – Minimum Unit Pricing

This conference will offer a celebratory retrospective exploration over what
we have learnt from the last 40 years and prospective crystal ball gazing about
what we might expect in the next 40.

Confirmed contributors include:
Professors: Bruce Alexander (Canada)
Keith Humphries (USA)
Nick Heather (UK)

This 4 day residential conference will be available for an incredible £495.00
(day attendance and bespoke options will also be available)

To register an expression of interest or to even book your place now
please contact Andy Perkins on (01382 224846) or at andyperkins@f8c.co.uk.

New Directions in the Study of Alcohol Group: Charity No: 281393
“providing a safe environment for original thinkers and speakers since 1976”

Keep checking our website www.newdirections.org.uk for regular updates on the
conference programme or contact Andy Perkins/Jenni Turnbull (Conference Administrators)
by e-mailing enquiries@f8c.co.uk. Booking forms will be available soon on our website.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

NDSAG Conference May 2015, Central London

Our 39th Conference took a slightly different format, two day seminars in Central London, with .

Over sixty people attended at least part of the conference, with forty people staying for both, and enjoying our evening social events in nearby restaurants.

Thursday 21st May: “Brains first and then Hard Work.” (The House At Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne. 1928).
The first day started with the concept of ‘brain science’ and its relationship to alcohol.
Marc Lewis launched the conference with a mind-expanding perspective on why all that evidence of brain activity could be seen as part of the ongoing development of the brain. Dora Duka looked at how patterns of brain imagery could be used to identify those at risk of relapse. Anne Lingford-Hughes explained how similar techniques might aid with development of pharmaceutical aids to recovery.

This was followed with two critical explorations of ‘recovery issues’ for drinkers.
Tim Leighton examined the evidence and ideologies behind the recovery movement and those who have adopted it within political or moral frames. Alistair Sinclair challenged us to think about those same perspectives from the "problem drinker's" perspective.

Keith Humphreys and Niamh Fitzgerald both gave insights into the influences that govern alcohol policy - both within and without political motivations.

Friday 22nd May: Proving policy or improving practice?
This day expanded on the first day’s themes by exploring alcohol policy perspectives and the treatment agenda,
Don Lavoie gave an overview of government policy from Public Health England and the Dept of Health.
Colin Drummond outlined why the changing role of the NHS in alcohol and addiction services has diminished training and clinical input from psychiatrists and nurses.
There followed an account by Pip Mason of lessons she learned from alcohol interventions for helping gambling addicts. And lessons she learned about gambling addictions.
Then with further perspectives from the field, Anthony Moss presented "The unhelpful effects of avoidance strategies in addictive behaviours" and how avoidance can increase risk of relapse.

Robin Davidson's look at how people who claim to use evidence might not use the whole picture.
As he put it "He used evidence like a drunk used a lamp post - for support not illumination".
The Blue Light Project has given Mike Ward and his team some insights into what might help "hard to engage", "frequent" service users.
To conclude, Jim Orford re-visited some themes from Excessive Appetites and described issues of power and powerlessness in addiction giving a closing rally call for New Directions.

Please feel free to add any comments below, as we seek to build on the useful conversations of last week.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

New Directions Conference 2015

Addicted to Recovery?
New Paradigms or Recycled Discourses…

39th Annual NDSAG Conference
Thursday 21st – Friday 22nd May 2015, London, UK

The conference will run over the course of 2 days and will feature several distinct symposiums:

Thursday 21st May: “Brains first and then Hard Work.”
(The House At Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne. 1928).
This day starts with the concept of ‘brain science’ and its relationship to alcohol,
and then will contrast this with a critical exploration of ‘recovery issues’ for drinkers.

Friday 22nd May: Proving policy or improving practice?
This day develops on the first day’s themes by exploring alcohol policy perspectives and the treatment agenda, followed by an exploration of gambling and alcohol, and then further perspectives from the field.

To conclude, the conference will re-visit addiction for a final plenary to consider what have
we learned and where next?

CONFIRMED CONTRIBUTORS – Plus others to be confirmed at a later date:
Prof. Keith Humphreys (Stanford University, USA)
Prof. Jim Orford (University of Birmingham)
Prof. Marc Lewis (Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands)
Prof. Anne Lingford Hughes (Imperial College, London)
Prof. Colin Drummond (National Addiction Centre, Kings College London)
Prof. David Best (Sheffield Hallam University and Monash University, Australia)
Clive Henn (Alcohol Policy Team, Public Health England)
Pip Mason (Pip Mason Consultancy, Birmingham)
Alistair Sinclair (UK Recovery Federation)
Tim Leighton (Action on Addiction, UK)
Dr Niamh Fitzgerald (University of Stirling, Scotland)

contact Andy Perkins/Jenni Turnbull (Conference Administrators) by e-mailing enquiries@f8c.co.uk

Our 39th Annual Conference featured two distinct one day symposiums covering current research and practice in the field of alcohol interventions.

In the 1970’s the New Directions group took on the concept of “Alcoholism”. Their pioneering critiques of the “disease model” and its successors have informed developments in alcohol treatment for nearly 50 years.
In 2015 New Directions explores “Recovery”. Against a background of vested interests scrabbling to claim it for themselves, we will examine the origins of “Recovery” and consider the future for the concept.

Unpicking the issues that surround “Recovery” leading experts will address:
•        Brain science – over hyped or our only hope?
•        Gambling – stacking the odds against getting treatment?
•        New addictions – do we need a campaign for real addiction?
•        Cuts and more cuts – the impact on research and treatment.
•        More New Directions – emerging innovations and opportunities in the alcohol field.

•Conference programme (times & titles) PDF

New Directions conferences always encourage networking, professional and social. 
This year we had two social events.
Wednesday 20th May:Local welcome. Conference attendees will be invited to join us at a local restaurant.
Thursday 21st May:NDSAG reception dinner at a local restaurant.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

New Directions Conference 2014

New Directions 2014 Conference
Alcohol Matters... Learning from Scottish Experiences

Wednesday 23rd - Saturday 26th April 2014

Venue: Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Dundee, Scotland

The conference featured three distinct research symposiums:
 Will Independence Change Scotland’s Relationship with Alcohol?
 What researchWhat Price a Unit? An exploration of Minimum Unit Pricing research
 Interventions focusInterventions and research focus - an in-depth look at the broad base of Scottish Alcohol Brief Interventions research

This years conference brought together key figures involved in Scottish based contemporary alcohol research. As well as the focus on Scottish Independence, MUP and ABIs, our 2014 conference included our acclaimed annual symposium showcasing new research funded by Alcohol Research UK (formerly AERC).

Prof. Jonathan Chick (Queen Margaret’s University)
Prof. John Booth Davies (University of Strathclyde)
Andrew McAuley (NHS Health Scotland)
Mike Inglis (Governor, HMP Perth)
Dr Robert Peat (Care Inspectorate)
Prof. Niamh Fitzgerald (Robert Gordon’s Univesity)
The Sheffield Alcohol Research Group
Tayside Council on Alcohol

FLIER www.ndsag.org/downloads/NDSAG2014_flier.pdf
BOOKING FORM www.ndsag.org/downloads/NDSAG_BookingForm.doc

Here you can read a personal summary of the Dundee conference produced by me for the final session, where we plan future conferences,

Thursday, January 31, 2013

New Directions Conference 2013

Speakers at our Birmingham Conference included
Prof. Jim Orford, (Birmingham University) , UKATT project and other publications include “Excessive Appetites” (1995) and “Addiction Dilemmas: Family Experiences from Literature and Research and Their Challenges for Practice” (2011)
Dr. Alex Copello (Birmingham University), Dr. Sarah Galvani (University of Bedfordshire), Dr Jim McCambridge (London School of Hygeine and Tropical Medicine), Pip Mason (consultancy)
And from Alcohol Research UK, Prof. Ray Hodgson (Research Director), Dr. James Nicholls (Research Manager) and Dave Roberts (Chief Executive)

The following details are for information purposes only as the conference has now passed.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

win a bursary to attend New Directions Conference 2013

In memory of our late friend, Ron McKechnie, we're launching a prize - to submit a paper for New Directions Journal and win free attendance and accommodation (includes meals but not travel) at the 2013 NDSAG Conference to be held in Birmingham, England. Your paper should relate to this year's conference theme
Alcohol Spills Over ... Alcohol and the family and other neglected issues

New membership details are available here and you can now join online via PayPal.

Contact contact@ndsag.org for more information about making a submission for the Ron McKechnie Prize.

NDSAG Members' interests

This post will be updated to include a list of current (& past) members of NDSAG and their experience or interests in the alcohol field.  


Wulf Livingston

I currently work as a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Glyndwr University. Before this I spent a number of years teaching on social work courses at Bangor University. 

Prior to my full-time role in academia I worked in a range of community social work settings both voluntary and statutory, working predominantly in the field of alcohol and drugs. 

I am nearing the completion of my qualitative PhD studies at Bangor, exploring the acquisition of alcohol knowledge by social workers. My areas of research and publication interest are alcohol and drugs in social work, service user involvement and recovery. I continue to be an active member of a number of other national and local charities and organisations involved in either specific alcohol and drug research issues or community based recovery agendas (UK
Recovery Academy, British Association of Social Workers - Special Interest Group on alcohol and other drugs, Recycle Cycle Cymru and DARE mountaineering recovery group). 

Prior to social care work, I spent time in the catering industry and directly acquiring knowledge about alcohol and drug use.

Adrian Brown
Alcohol Nurse Specialist in Hospital Liaison.
I trained as a Registered Mental Health Nurse in the Eighties (after briefly dabbling in the metallurgical industry).

I worked in several roles across the West London substance misuse services, mostly since 1994 in the alcohol field with a special interest in quality and information. This meant I got involved in several national projects, such as Models of Care and NICE guidelines and standards for alcohol.

St Mary's Hospital, Paddington: 1998 to 2011
St George's Hospital, Tooting: 2011 onwards
These posts have had two main focuses - traditional liaison with people who have alcohol dependence or repeating patterns of chaotic misuse and the Identification and Brief Advice (IBA) model. IBA had been establised at St Mary's for many years, and was influential in several significant research and recommendation projects. With Robin Touquet, I had worked to constantly update that process and reviewing what we had learned has played a big part in my current role as team leader of the team of nurses working at St Georges.

I've become co-ordinator of London's Hospital Alcohol Liaison Forum, which we set up initially as an informal learning set, because so few people in our organisations understood the role. The membership is quite open, and has grown from four of us in Westminster Camden & Islington to around two dozen hospitals represented.

If you are a member of NDSAG, please post a brief account below, or email me at contact@ndsag.org
(Your contact details not needed here.)

Take New Directions but Learn from Experience !

The rather wonderful FEAD website has a conversation between three leading lights from the NDSAG network.

At any New Directions conference, you can find this level of discourse, formal and informal, and we seek to provide a friendly welcoming network to meet colleagues from across the alcohol field - treatment, research, policy, philosophy and beyond.


Monday, May 28, 2012

NDSAG conference 2012 Llandrindod Wells

Our annual conference took place in Llandindrod Wells, Powys, Wales from Thursday 24th May 2012 to Sunday 27th May 2012, with the keynote seminar on Friday 25th.

Speakers included
Prof. Stephen Rollnick, (Cardiff University) publications include "Behaviour Change: a guide for health care professionals", 
Prof. Keith Humphreys, (Stanford University) Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and CHP/PCOR associate, member of the White House Commission on Drug Free Communitites and the National Advisory Council of the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Prof. Nick Heather, (Northumbria University) life president of NDSAG and co-author of "Problem Drinking" & "Let's Drink To Your Health!".

For future conference details and updates for 2013 contact Conference Secretary:
Trevor McCarthy, Mobile: 07980  657 573, email trev.mcc@virgin.net

NB The following information will not be updated .


Welsh language versions
Conference flier                                                                                    
Call for papers (closed)