Contemporary Drug Problems Conference 2017


The fourth Contemporary Drug Problems Conference took place this year in Helsinki, Finland from 23rd to 25th August. Attending and presenting at this year’s conference was the REACT programme’s PhD candidate researcher, Susan Calnan.

At the conference, Susan presented her findings and reflections on a recently undertaken discourse analysis of the debate around Ireland’s proposed Public Health (Alcohol) Bill – an analysis which underlines the divergent and competing discourses around alcohol and its control in Ireland at present.

The CDP conference – organised by the international Contemporary Drug Problems journal team in conjunction with its host institution – is a unique event which provides a platform for a more critical analysis of alcohol and other drug issues. Rather than viewing approaches to drugs and alcohol as self-evident objects that pre-exist the responses developed to address them, this year’s CDP conference theme centred around a re-thinking of drugs/alcohol and their effects as constituted in various forms of practice.

The annual CDP conference attracts leading researchers and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines encompassing anthropology, epidemiology, public policy, sociology and related disciplines. A particular highlight of this year’s conference was the attendance of its two key-note speakers – Carol Bacchi, Emeritus Professor from the University of Adelaide, and Dr Cameron Duff from RMIT University in Melbourne.

Commenting on this year’s conference, REACT’s PhD researcher, Susan Calnan, remarked: “The CDP conference is a really interesting event which encourages participants to think outside the box and to examine their own assumptions as researchers and practitioners. It was encouraging and exciting to witness the range of groundbreaking research that is underway in the field of drugs and alcohol at present and which offers a fresh perspective on how we talk about and address the issue of alcohol and drugs in our society.”

For more information on the quarterly journal Contemporary Drug Problems, visit