World experts on novel recreational drugs to convene in Swansea

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A major international conference to examine the latest scientific evidence and research on novel recreational drugs will take place at Swansea University this month, in collaboration with Hertfordshire University and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

Title: The Second International Conference on Novel Psychoactive Substances

Dates: Thursday, September 12, and Friday, September 13, 2013

Venue: The majority of the conference’s events will take place at The Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea University.

Speakers: The conference will be opened by Dr Sarah Watkins, Senior Medical Officer, Public Health Department, Welsh Government, and among the conference’s keynote speakers are:

Paul GriffithsPaul Griffiths, Scientific Director of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), Lisbon.





Sir Robin Murray‌Sir Robin Murray, Professor of Psychiatric Research at the Institute of Psychiatry.





Prof Andy Parrott‌Professor Andy Parrott, Swansea University, an international authority on the human psychobiology of MDMA or ‘Ecstasy’ who published the first research paper to demonstrate memory impairments in young MDMA/Ecstasy users compared to similar aged controls.




Prof Fabrizio SchifanoProfessor Fabrizio Schifano, Chair in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, School of Pharmacy, University of Hertfordshire, and Member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD, UK).




Prof Lynn Singer‌ Professor Lynn Singer, Deputy Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Professor of Paediatrics, Psychiatry, Psychology and Environmental Health Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, USA, who led Project Newborn-Next Steps, a longitudinal study of cocaine-exposed infants and their mothers, and Project Daisy, a study of MDMA/Ecstasy-exposed infants.


Conference details: Following the success of the first International Conference on Novel Psychoactive Substances, held last year in Budapest, this year’s conference will be hosted by the College of Human and Health Sciences at Swansea University, in collaboration with the School of Life and Medical Sciences at Hertfordshire University and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), in Lisbon, Portugal.

Novel recreational drugs – for example mephedrone, also known as ‘M-cat’ or ‘meow meow’, or artificial ‘spice’ cannabinoids – are often misrepresented as ‘safe’ for recreational use. However, they can be just as harmful and addictive as other stimulant drugs such as cocaine or amphetamine. 

A panel of international experts will gather at Swansea University to examine the latest scientific evidence and research in this ever-changing world and will aim to highlight the dangers these drugs represent, the importance of knowing their effects, and strategies to reduce their use.

This conference will be of interest to health professionals, youth workers, social care workers, law enforcement officers, educators, policy makers, academics, and anyone involved in the prevention and treatment of drug addiction.