Lisbon Addictions 2017, the second European Conference on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies, is a multidisciplinary conference that provides a forum for networking across the addictions.
In a welcomed improvement to usual conference format, some YODA members attended via the new TWIST programme:
An integrated training event to explore a selection of “hot” drug and addiction topics in-depth, and build capacity among different stakeholders, using novel interactive dynamic learning formats, knowledge and experience exchange, and multi-sector networking environments.
Irena Molnar shares her thoughts:
This year the TWIST project provided a real added value to the conference. It was designed as a training strand on using addiction research and knowledge, with the participation of the target audience (early stage professionals and stakeholders from multiple sectors). The project connected academics, clinicians and civil sector organisations representatives – with experts from research and non-research stakeholder groups. This year TWIST brought 147 people from different parts of world, but also different backgrounds, offering participants to network and build connections that will later on serve them as a base for developing different collaborative activities. Within the TWIST project, Youth Organisation for Drug Action this year had representatives from Albania, Czech Republic, Poland, Portugal and Serbia.
It was an absolute pleasure participating in the event this big, and having chance to connect with academia and scientific people dealing with the addictions because of the opportunity for advocating for better support and understanding of harm reduction. Although it was not many panels (or not at all) on harm reduction, and human rights perspective, and also youth-oriented panels, there were few on recreational drug use and drug checking, which is really a step forward in whole addictions and dependencies field.
A step in the right direction for institutional/academic, and often exclusive, conferences becoming more accessible and integrating valuable knowledge from those working on the ground.
Left to right: Filip Kinczyk (SIN), Xoan Carbon Mallol (ABD-Energy Control), Irena Molnar (SEE/ReGeneration), Jurek (SIN), Iga Kender-Jeziorska (Corvinus University of Budapest/HIDE), Erling Plaku (Aksion Plus)