SDF’s Seminar and AGM provides retrospective look at the past and to the challenges of the future

Scottish Drugs Forum were delighted to host the 2017 SDF Seminar and Annual General Meeting, which took place on the 8th of February at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow.

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At this year’s event, there was a chance to look back and reminisce but also reflect on changes and progress as well as ongoing challenges, including HIV.

To assist with this, Reevel Alderson, BBC Scotland’s Home Affairs Correspondent, started the morning by leading a highly informative interview with SDF’s CEO David Liddell, which reflected on drug policy and practice during his time at SDF. During the interview, Reevel often referred to the timeline in the newly published SDF Annual Report and posed questions on various achievements and difficulties that the drugs field in Scotland has experienced.

The video of this interview will be available soon via the SDF Youtube channel.

A gesture of appreciation for David’s 30 years of service was then presented by SDF’s Chair George Allan.

The mid-section of the day provided an opportunity for SDF members and attendees to participate in briefings and discussion on a variety of key policy and practice areas that services are faced with now.

Topics included responding to blood-borne virus outbreaks, employability options in Scotland, funding challenges for the sector, improving service quality, emerging findings of research on older drug users and also the challenge of reducing stigma on people with a drug problem.

The latter stage of the day focussed on current trends and future challenges, beginning with a keynote address from Lucas Wiessing of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). Lucas discussed the current trends that are being noticed in Europe, the consequences of these and how this related to Scotland.

Lucas’ presentation will also be available soon via the SDF Youtube page.

After this helpful overview from Lucas, Katy MacLeod, SDF’s lead researcher on the recently published Scottish Government research on New Psychoactive Substances, looked into the specific issues relating to Scotland and presented results of the 2017 SDF Drug Trends Survey, which was completed by drug services across Scotland.

Click here to find out more about the SDF Annual Report 2015-16

Click here to view photos from the day