Programme

Welcome and introduction

Speakers: Carl Jones and Jane Mackenzie

Carl is an award-winning journalist who has worked in the West Midlnds for most of his life, in print, radio and TV. He currently produces and presents weekly business and news review shows on Made In Birmingham

Jane is the founder of Share Shrewsbury, and she established this conference in order to highlight the issues which led to her daughter Amy’s death. For Jane, this conference carries an important message about changes that need to happen in order prevent others dying, as Amy did.

Speakers: Professor David Nutt

David is one of most controversial leaders in the field of alcohol research, and his brilliantly honest approach towards revealing the truth about alcohol has won him a global following. We can expect to be enlightened, enthralled, and perhaps even shocked, by his presentation.

Our former National Drugs Tsar, David will provide an overview of what alcohol actually is, why we enjoy it so much and how it affects the human body, relationships and society. He will examine how the damaging impact of alcohol on individuals and communities has been hidden from the general public.

His presentation will include time for a Q & A.

Speakers: Doctor Kate Herlinger and Doctor Rayyan Zafar

 Kate and Rayyan will be presenting their exciting new research, with the aim of increasing our knowledge about the impact of alcohol on the human mind.

Kate and Rayyan are undertaking their PhDs at Imperial College London. They are key members of Professor Nutt’s research team and work closely with him at the forefront of addiction research.

Their presentation will include time for Q & A’s.

Speakers: Professor Markus Heilig

Markus is one of the most highly regarded addiction researchers of our generation. For the past decade, he has led one of the largest research programs on addictive disorders in the world and will be revealing his groundbreaking brain imaging research.

Markus will talk about addiction, how it presents in the brain, and the latest brain imaging research proving the changes that alcohol makes to the brain structure and how this affects the personality and mental health. He will talk about the relationship between addiction and childhood trauma and how this should be reflected in the support offered to sufferers.

His presentation will include time for Q & A’s.

Speakers: Sonya Jones

Sonya’s dedication towards supporting children affected by alcohol dependence is renowned. Her work to expose the damage caused by county lines and to address the exploitation of vulnerable children in Shropshire has been recognised nationally.

She is manager of the young persons drug and alcohol service in Shropshire and will be using real case studies to illustrate the issues faced by children. Sonya will explain what more needs to be done to raise awareness about the dangers of alcohol.

Her presentation will include time for Q & A’s.

Lunch break

Speakers: Dr James Morris

James’s research into stigma, and the language used to describe alcohol addiction, is fascinating. His popular podcast, “ The alcohol ‘problem’ podcast” includes academic and lived experiences on the nature of alcohol use and problems.

James will be talking about the impact of stigmatising language, and how this can prevent harmful drinkers from change. He’ll discuss his research into problem recognition amongst harmful drinkers, and he will share ideas to help change the way we talk and think about alcohol problems

His presentation will include time for Q & A’s

Speakers: Adrian Chiles

Adrian is a well-known face and voice from television and radio. He documented his personal experience with alcohol in the BBC2 Horizon programme –Drinkers Like Me”  in 2019. He has talked candidly in media interviews and articles about his own struggles with anxiety and depression, as well as the impact on his life of a late diagnosis of ADD. 

He will be sharing his own journey into alcohol dependence with us, and talking about his views on reduced drinking.

His presentation will include time for Q & A’s.

Speakers: Viv Evans OBE

Viv is currently leading a national campaign, “The Silent Five Million” which is calling for the role of family and friends in supporting those suffering with alcohol addiction to be recognised.

She is the Chief Executive of Adfam, the national charity supporting the loved ones of those struggling with drug and alcohol dependency. She will be talking about the impact of substance misuse on family and friends, how they need to be recognised as deserving support in their own right, and the role this “silent five million” can play in a loved one’s recovery. Her presentation will include time for Q & A’s.

Speakers: Camilla Tominey

Camilla will share her powerful personal story of life growing up with a mother who was addicted to alcohol.

She is an associate editor at The Telegraph, and a Patron of the national charity, NACOA. We are fortunate that she will be answering live Q & A’s following her presentation.

Speakers: Mike Ward

The key driver behind the nationally acclaimed Blue Light project, Mike is acknowledged as the leading expert in understanding the behaviour of drinkers who are resistant to change. He co-wrote the groundbreaking Learning From Tragedies report, which has highlighted the fact that the role of alcohol is being “missed or poorly managed” in the care of vulnerable adults, contributing to their deaths

Mike will talk about the importance of putting safeguarding measures in place to protect vulnerable dependent drinkers. Disputing the idea that sufferers should be left to reach rock bottom, he will also be talking about the controversial “Blue Light Project”.

His presentation will include time for Q & A’s.

Four Workshops

  1. Can we embrace both abstinence and reduced drinking as recovery choices? Discussion led by Chip Somers and Philippe Bonnet
  2. Is the Sinclair method and naltrexone a neglected treatment choice? Discussion led by Dr Matthew Tranter and John Bale
  3. Is early intervention effective with resistant drinkers, or should we wait until they hit “rock bottom?” Discussion led by Mike Ward and Sonya Jones
  4. What is the role of friends and family in recovery?  Discussion led by Viv Evans

Closing remarks

Welcome and review of day one

Speakers: Carl Jones

Speakers: Doctor Ed Day - Keynote speaker

Ed Day  is our National Recovery Champion, and has been overseeing the development of the long awaited National Drugs Strategy for the UK.

He will be announcing the main recommendations, and talking about the need for experts by profession, experts by experience, business and local communities to work together to promote recovery. Why we must improve the way that we support individuals suffering with alcohol addiction to reflect the latest research, and why friends and family are crucial for successful recovery.

His presentation will include time for Q & A’s

Speakers: Professor Alex Copello

Alex Copello’s research has had a major impact on addiction treatment across the UK. His work on the integration of substance misuse treatment into Mental Health services is now being implemented nationally.

He is passionate about the need assess sufferers holistically, and to involve families in recovery. He will describe his ground breaking social and family interventions and 5 step  approach, which have been adopted by the NICE guidelines for use for commissioning services for carers.

His presentation will include time for Q & A’s

Speakers: Lauren Booker

Lauren Booker is a leading expert on addressing work based drinking and works with businesses to develop effective policies and practices that tackle the impact of alcohol in the workplace. She will explain how and why businesses should support their workforce who struggle with alcohol dependence. She will talk about how a well-trained and supported workforce is better equipped to support individuals to recover well and live their best lives.

Her presentation will include time for Q & A’s

Lunch break

Speakers: Dr Matthew Tranter

Matthew Tranter is a forensic police examiner and lecturer in medicine at the University of Oxford, Matthew will explain everything you need to know about alcohol withdrawal and detox. He will give practical top tips on how to safely support someone through this experience.

His presentation will include time for Q & A’s

Speakers: Rachel Robinson, Julie Kenny

Rachel is the Director for Public Health at Shropshire Council and Julie  is an adult services manager with Shropshire Recovery Partnership ( SRP) We will hear an overview of drug and alcohol  services across Shropshire, and how they reflect the latest advances in treatment. Kirsty is in recovery and now works as part of the SRP team.

Their presentation will include time for Q & A’s

Speakers: Stuart and Stuart junior

Stuart’s story shows the relentless grip that alcohol can exert. Stuart was from a good home, and had a grammar school education, but his life changed after his first alcoholic drink at 14 years of age. This led to 25 years of alcoholic drinking, during which time he lost everything. His son, Stuart, Junior, will talk about his life as a child of the alcoholic, and his own battle with alcohol, culminating in a jail sentence after committing a serious crime.

Today Stuart is an AA ambassador, and he and his son have been in recovery for many years. Their presentation will include time for Q & A’s

 

Speakers: Richard Leith

Richard will be highlighting the inspirational work being carried out at Strickland house, Wellington, which provides holistic support for anyone suffering from drug or alcohol problems living locally. Richard is the operations Manager at TACT (Telford Aftercare Team).

His presentation will include time for Q & A’s

Speakers: Chip Somers

Chip is a former Government advisor on drug policy and, expert counsellor, founder of Focus 12 rehabilitation centre and trustee of Share Shrewsbury. Chip will summarise the  state of drug and alcohol services in England and outline what needs to change.

His presentation will include time for Q & A’s

Four Workshops

  1. Can we embrace both abstinence and reduced drinking as recovery choices? Discussion led by Chip Somers and Philippe Bonnet
  2. Is the Sinclair method and naltrexone a neglected treatment choice? Discussion led by Dr Matthew Tranter and John Bale
  3. Is early intervention effective with resistant drinkers, or should we wait until they hit “rock bottom?” Discussion led by Mike Ward and Sonya Jones
  4. What is the role of friends and family in recovery?  Discussion led by Viv Evans

Closing remarks