Why has addiction come to be seen as a moral failing? And how can we reframe it as a mental health issue?
People living with addiction, and those affected by it, still face a huge amount of stigma. Battling addiction is hard enough, but the feelings of shame and guilt that can come from judgement by friends, family, colleagues and society make the road to recovery even harder.
What can we do to reduce stigma, and what would the life of an addict look like if they were treated purely as someone with a mental health problem?
Please note doors open at 6.30pm
This event is part of HOOKED, our season about addiction and recovery. Find out more here
Suzi Gage is a lecturer in Psychology at University of Liverpool interested in understanding the causal links between lifestyle behaviours and mental health. She is particularly interested in the impact of recreational drug use on mental health, and vice versa.
Suzi produces the popular ‘Say why to drugs’ podcast. Each episode, which she regularly co-presents with Scroobius Pip, tackles a substance and the information known about it, including the harms but also the potential benefits.
Guntars Ermansons is an anthropologist interested in the moral and political meaning of drug use and control. He is a Teaching Fellow and PhD candidate based in the Global Health and Social Medicine department at King’s College London.
Josh Connolly is a life coach and Ambassador for Nacoa, the National Association for Children of Alcoholics. Josh grew up with an alcohol dependant father, who he saw take his own life when he was nine. Following this traumatic experience he went on to have his own struggles with mental health and alcohol and drug addiction. Today he is sober six years and speaks nationally about his experience.
Lavinia Black is a mother with personal experience of drug and alcohol addiction who has been in recovery for 8 and a half years. She is a postgraduate in addiction studies and is one of the founding members of the Addictions Service User Research Group at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London and of a social media recovery support group with over 2000 members.
Annika Lindberg is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist with over 15 years of experience treating gambling and other behavioural and chemical addictions.