Contemporary Drug Problems Conference

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Photograph of a bee landing on a stone planter filled with pink geraniums. In the background is a French formal garden with stone-edged square lake, lawn, pink flowering borders, stone pillars and a statue facing away from the viewer. The 2023 Contemporary Drug Problems conference, themed 'Embracing trouble: New ways of doing, being and knowing', will take place in Paris in September.

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Wednesday 06 September 2023 until Friday 08 September 2023 (Add to calendar)
Contemporary Drug Problems
Presented by:
Type of Event:
$620 early bird / $720 full / $400 student / $250 one-day / $250 online only / All prices in AUD / contact us if you would like to attend but face financial challenges

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Embracing trouble: New ways of doing, being and knowing

In recent years, critical alcohol and other drugs scholars have been seeking to trouble foundational ideas and claims about alcohol and other drugs, including taken-for-granted assumptions about the nature, effects and harms associated with drug use. Importantly, this critical scholarship also calls for accountability in our own roles as researchers in producing and reproducing ideas about and depictions of alcohol and other drugs and troubling our concepts and methods. As Suzanne Fraser argued at the 2017 Contemporary Drug Problems conference in Helsinki, Finland, all research projects are intrinsically performative: ‘They are as intimately involved in the making of everyday material realities as they are in reflecting them. As such, researchers have the obligation not only to track the realities being made by their research, but to approach the design and conduct of the research with this action in mind’.

These developments in drug research are inspired by insights from several fields, including feminist theory, narcofeminism, queer theory, Science and Technology Studies, new materialism, Indigenous knowledges and decolonising methodologies. When we trouble methods, we reflect on our own role in the production of realities, the ethics and politics of different ways of knowing and doing, the positionality of researchers, and the relationship between all of these practices and the production of realities. In the contested fields of drug policy, biomedical research, and harm reduction, this troubling also generates ethical, epistemological, and empirical questions: what does this mean for political claims-making and advocacy in research? How can we embrace trouble in politically productive ways? In troubled times that seem to be eroding trust and solidarity, how do we ensure our claims to knowledge, authority and rigour are useful?

What would it mean to embrace trouble in the ways we do and make research methods and knowledge? What responsibilities and obligations might this confer on researchers, policy practitioners, and institutions? What new knowledges and paths of inquiries could this open? What changes might be necessary in the assumptions informing policy and other forms of social and political action? How might we think about identity, reflexivity, power and positionality in research collaborations, including understandings of lived experience and expertise? How might diagnostic instruments, treatment systems, legal processes, health promotion and popular culture be changed to benefit people who consume drugs, and, in turn, all of us?

Hosted by Contemporary Drug Problems, the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University (Australia); the Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney (Australia); the Advanced School for Social Sciences (EHESS) (France); the Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research, Aarhus University (Denmark); the Behaviours and Health Risks Program, Burnet Institute (Australia); Turning Point, Monash University (Australia); the Department of Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (USA), and the Department of Social Work, Stockholm University (Sweden), this conference will bring together leading international researchers in drug use and addiction studies from a range of research disciplines and methods – both qualitative and quantitative.

Keynote speakers

The conference will feature keynote addresses from some of the world's leading scholars of alcohol and other drugs.

Professor Suzanne Fraser

La Trobe University, Australia
‘Staying with the trouble’ in ontopolitical research on drugs

Dr Maziyar Ghiabi

University of Exeter, England
On recovery beyond its possibility of being

Dr Annie Madden

International Network of People Who Use Drugs (INPUD), Harm Reduction Australia and 2SqPegs Consulting; and Zoë Dodd, MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions - Unity Health
Of Resistances & Reckonings in a Time of War

More information

For presentation abstracts and more information, please visit the main Contemporary Drug Problems Conference page.

Ticket options

Ticket typePrice (AUD)
Early bird registration (until June 19 2023) $620
Full registration $720
Student registration $400
One-day registration $250
Online only $250

All in-person registrations include full catering during conference hours.

The conference committee acknowledges the financial challenges that some people may face in participating in international professional meetings (e.g. those who are on a low wage or who are unwaged, and people with lived experience of drug use). The committee may be able to provide assistance by waiving the conference registration fee for those affected. If you would like to find out more please contact the conference organisers at


An online attendance option is available, including automatic live captioning. If you have specific access requirements, please contact and we will do our best to accommodate them.



104 Rue de Vaugirard, 75006

Paris, France

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20 Apr 2024 2:48 am

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