Drugs treatment training? No, a love-in for legalisers
By Neil McKeganey August 22, 2018
A conference which is widely attended by drug treatment staff in England and Wales is fast becoming an exercise in drug legalisation propaganda. The annual National Substance Misuse Conference attracts a large number of general practitioners and other health care staff to hear the latest in drug treatment policy and practice. The conference is widely promoted by a range of respected public health bodies including Substance Misuse Management in General Practice, Addaction, a leading drug treatment agency, and Collective Voice which represents many of those working in the drugs treatment field and those in contact with drug treatment services. Delegates can claim continuing professional development credit. This is a serious conference, on a serious theme, for serious people.
Ths year’s conference, to be held in Birmingham on September 13, will be opened by representatives from Release, a drugs charity which has long campaigned for the legalisation of illegal drugs within the UK. Following the welcome, delegates will hear from Professor Alex Stevens, a criminologist from the University of Kent who has similarly widely advocated drugs policy change and legalisation. Hot on the heels of Professor Stevens, representatives of the Transform organisation, the UK’s leading drugs legalisation lobby group, will take the stage. Those who miss Transform can opt instead to hear David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, who has advocated the wider prescribing of heroin to addicts in England, the setting up of drug consumption rooms and for drug use to be treated as a health rather than a criminal justice matter.