Johann Hari is a British journalist and author of 2015's 'Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.' He has written for many of the world’s leading newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Le Monde, the Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, the New Republic, the Nation, Slate, El Mundo, and the Sydney Morning Herald and was a lead op-ed columnist for the Independent, one of Britain’s leading newspapers, for nine years.
Hari was born in 1979 in Glasgow, Scotland, and has lived in London since he was a baby. His mother is from the Scottish tenements and his father is from the Swiss mountains. He graduated from King’s College, Cambridge with a double first in Social and Political Sciences in 2001. Hari was named ‘National Newspaper Journalist of the Year’ by Amnesty International twice. He was named ‘Environmental Commentator of the Year’ at the Editorial Intelligence awards, and ‘Gay Journalist of the Year’ at the Stonewall awards. He has also won the Martha Gellhorn Prize for political writing. He is currently working on his next book, and he is a Visiting Fellow with Purpose, the New York-based progressive campaigning group.
Chasing the Scream
The War on Drugs and the True Causes and Consequences of a Moral Injustice
While writing the bestselling book Chasing the Scream, Johann Hari discovered that the drug war has very different motives and results than those described by our businesses and governments. Not only has strictly enforced prohibition claimed countless victims to incarceration, poverty, and murder around the world, but it’s actually led to more addicted users—the opposite of its touted purpose.
In this keynote, Hari traces the development of a global moral injustice, highlighting the previously untold story of how Billie Holiday was stalked and killed by the founder of the war—and what this tells us about what’s motivated it ever since. He relates the stirring testimonies of people whose lives have been transformed by ill-conceived policies, and the doctors and activists resolutely trying to change them. And he talks, with inspiring examples, on the alternative policies that show a clear way forward.
From the killing fields of northern Mexico, home of some of the world’s most dangerous cartels, to the teeming US prison system, to nations like Portugal that choose to pursue innovative solutions, this keynote condenses Hari’s years of deep reporting into a riveting talk on the war on drugs: its human and economic tolls, and its compassionate, economically sound solutions.
Jenny Valentish is a journalist with lived experience of problematic drug and alcohol use.
She is the author of Woman of Substances: A Journey into Addiction and Treatment (Black Inc), which was nominated for a prestigious Walkley Book Award, and writes regularly for The Guardian and The Sydney Morning Herald.
Valentish grew up in the UK and moved to Australia in 2006, where she edited the music magazine Jmag and city guide Time Out. She is the author of Cherry Bomb, an alcohol-infused novel set in the music industry, and the anthology Your Mother Would Be Proud, which – as you might imagine – smells just as strongly of booze.
Valentish is a board director of SMART Recovery Australia, a consultant for the University of New South Wales’ National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, and an ambassador for BrainPark, a project of Monash University’s Brain and Mental Health Laboratory. Woman of Substances will be published in the UK and US in 2018.
Woman of Substances: what I learned - 2017 saw the publication of journalist Jenny Valentish’s memoir/research hybrid, Woman of Substances: A Journey into Addiction and Treatment. Having gone to a publisher with 12 chapter ideas of issues that might particularly affect women who use drugs and alcohol heavily, Valentish was given the green light to flesh out those ideas, interviewing 35 clinicians, researchers and AOD professionals about self-medication, sexual assault, childhood trauma, domestic violence, self-harm, treatment options failing women, and more. In some cases she was forced to rethink her long-held hypotheses. Certainly, she wasn’t expecting to need to title a chapter A Call to Arms.
Hinewirangi Kohu Morgan is an artist, poet and visionary from Ngāti Kahungunu ki Nuhaka, Ngāti Ranginui ki Tauranga Moana and Ngāti Porou ki Muriwai. She is the Director of Te whānau Te Rau Aroha Ltd who run inmate programmes teaching literacy/numeracy, Te Reo, and History at Te Ao Marama-Waikeria Prison. Te Rau Aroha also offer programmes to help inmates address their offending. Hinewirangi is actively involved in - Ka Ata Mai - a women’s collective that teaches creative ways of working with Māori, is part of the Te Kotahi research team at Waikato University and teaches both here and abroad on all aspects of Māori philosophies relating to mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Her areas of expertise include Traditional Māori parenting and healing, Māori flute-making, and indigenous poetry and drama. Hinewirangi is the Vice Chair of the International Indian Treaty Council and works with women and children.
Singing the soul back into being
This is a personal journey, a journey of reconnection, a journey of looking for the healer within, a journey of choice. This is my journey, from a ‘lived experience’ rather an academic knowledge. My story of Māori approaches to dealing with trauma. You cannot heal me one with a mono cultural knowledge and I share maps with you, that can help you understand how to connect and how to heal me, and many others. This journey is a journey that challenges you, to find you, its about you, its about acknowledging the journey you have taken and the healing that many of us have had to heal. It's a journey, of connecting with your tipuna, the sacredness of your being, the atuatanga/God/dess within. Its your journey, then we can connect healer to healer. It's a journey of understanding that you are ‘partially divine’. Mauri ora Hinewirangi
Changing social networks is critical for many people attempting to sustain recovery yet access to positive social assets and networks is not easy. The presentation will cover three key themes – 1. Identifying those community groups and activities (asset mapping). 2. Supporting peer champions to engage with them (developing community connectors) and 3. Making effective links (assertive linkage).
2. Building connections - the importance of using recovery capital to measure recovery and encourage social connection
This presentation will focus on the research which has been conducted around Recovery Capital being used as a measure for change and to encourage individuals to engage in prosocial activities and connect with others as a strong indicator of not only recovery but also well being. The Recovery Capital (REC-CAP) assessment process has been based on over 10 years worth of research conducted in the U.S, the U.K and Australia and has huge implications for improving practice for practitioners supporting individuals in recovery. Our REC-CAP model uses systematic measurement to inform planning and then to prepare for effective linkage to positive social and community capital. This presentation will present some of the studies and findings which support this process currently being used in Florida and within the U.K. It will therefore be appealing to any individual in recovery or supporting the recovery of others from substance misuse to prisoner rehabilitation.
Dr Marianne Jauncey is the Medical Director of Australia’s only supervised injecting facility. This service was the first of its kind in the English Speaking World when it opened in 2001, and is credited with saving many lives. She is committed to pursuing translational research with real world impacts for the clients of MSIC, as well as ensuring those with lived experience are given a voice. She is a passionate teacher and public speaker, and now involved on a Uniting Church campaign to bring about a ‘rethink’ on drugs, including the removal of criminal sanctions for use. She believes that all health professionals should first and foremost be present for our clients, listen and be respectful – and from this, change is genuinely possible.
Supervised injecting facilities: A polarising political proposal, or an essential piece of our puzzle?
Authors: Jauncey M1, 2,3 Salmon AM1
1 Medical Director and Research Manager Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre, Sydney NSW, Australia
2 Conjoint Senior Lecturer, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre UNSW
3 Clinical Senior Lecturer, Sydney Medical School USYD
Australia’s only supervised injecting facility opened nearly 16 years ago. It was the first such facility in the English speaking world, and the first outside Europe. Australia’s then Prime Minister was explicitly opposed and media and political scrutiny was intense. Indeed the service operated as a trial for nearly a decade with repeated independent evaluations and multiple attempts to see it closed. Since this time the number of supervised injecting facilities has more than doubled internationally, and expanded to at least 10 countries and more than 60 major cities. Evidence for their effectiveness and cost effectively has been shown. Specifically that they reduce mortality and morbidity associated with overdose, reduce ambulance callouts, increase uptake of drug detoxification and addiction treatment, reduce BBV transmission risk behavior, and improve public amenity. Importantly, evidence also shows a lack of negative outcomes - no negative impact on crime and community rates of drug use do not increase.
Until very recently, the Sydney service remained Australia’s only such service. We now have a service in Melbourne but why, when we have a proud history of agile proactive harm reduction policy, has this taken so long? We had early and comprehensive NSP introduction. We have comprehensive opiate pharmacotherapy programs. We introduced plain packaging for tobacco products and have reduced alcohol availability and advertising. Our experience in both Sydney and Melbourne has shown that in politically charged arenas, evidence is not always enough. As workers in addiction services we can have a key role to play in advancing community conversations and making connections. While perhaps uncomfortable and at times risky, advocacy for harm reduction services should be seen as a medical responsibility.
Pesio Ah-Honi (BBM, Post Grad Dip, Public Health DPH) is the National Director of Pacific Services - Mapu Maia, the Pacific Unit of the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand.
Of Samoan and Chinese descent, Pesio Ah-Honi was born in Samoa and educated and raised in Auckland. For the past 24 years she has worked extensively within the Pacific Island community in the areas of problem gambling, public health and community development.
In 2001 Pesio was project lead for Pacific Care Trust and worked to develop New Zealand’s first Pacific public health strategy in Manukau City before going on to develop and lead the Pacific national public health plan. From 2006 to 2009, Pesio was an elected Board member for the New Zealand Health Promotion Forum and she currently represents the Pacific sector on the NGO Health and Disability Council of New Zealand.
Pesio has considerable experience and understanding relating to the creation of integrated models of service delivery that combine public health within clinical frameworks to bring about connected and cohesive approaches in service delivery.
Integrated connections - what does this mean in practice?
As Pacific people we live and breathe relationships through our connections with each other. Our connections are strong through our family, our village, our community and our Island cousins. So what happens when disconnection occurs?
In the late 80s, slot machines, more commonly known as pokies, were introduced into pubs and clubs in New Zealand and the numbers of them grew exponentially. They are now found in pubs and clubs in nearly every city and suburb around the country and are particularly concentrated in the most deprived communities. Within Pacific communities, individuals and families that are experiencing gambling harm are becoming increasingly disconnected from each other and gambling harm is rippling into crime, domestic violence, poverty, mental health and other addictions.
So what have we learnt since 1991? I will speak on the world of Pacific gambling addiction, of connecting theories and practices and the importance of connecting services.
Sir Mason Durie is a member of the Ngāti Kauwhata, Ngāti Raukawa and Rangitane Iwi. He has had a lifelong commitment to public health, including mental health and addiction, with a particular expertise in Māori health and culture. He has served on range of health-related committees, councils and advisory groups, including the Mental Health Foundation (1976-1980), Royal Commission on Social Policy (1986-88), The National Health Committee (1998-2000) and was a Families Commissioner (2003-2007). Since 2002, he has been a leader in Te Rau Matatini, Māori Mental Health Workforce Development. He is currently an Emeritus Professor at Massey University.
Doug Sellman, MBChB, PhD, FRANZCP, FAChAM, is a psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist who has been working in the addiction treatment field in New Zealand since 1985. He was the inaugural Director of the National Addiction Centre (NAC), University of Otago, Christchurch, from 1996-2017 and has held a Personal Chair in Psychiatry & Addiction Medicine within the University since 2005. His main work focus is alcohol and food from addiction and public health advocacy perspectives. He is one of the medical spokespeople for Alcohol Action NZ.