University welcomes European Substance Use Researchers

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The inaugural meeting of the European Substance Use Research Network saw researchers from six European countries come together at Manchester Metropolitan in September.

Members of the network reflected the multi-disciplinary nature of the University’s SUAB (Substance Use and Addictive Behaviours) Research Group, with experts from public health, sociology, sports science, epidemiology, social work, forensic science, nursing, psychology and criminology.

Funded by Manchester Metropolitan, the inaugural meeting focused on the sharing of research interests and developing ideas for research collaboration, in particular, research bids and joint publications. Among the emerging research themes were a comparative study of Novel Psychoactive Substances, co-produced or user-led research, social identity construction of substance users, social work and social care practice and substance use and sexuality.

Professor Sarah Galvani, Professor of Adult Social Care, led the European network development alongside University colleagues Dr Lucy Webb – Nursing, Dr Rob Ralphs – Criminology, and Dr Oliver Sutcliffe – Forensic Chemistry.

Professor Galvani stated: “Good research collaborations are built upon good relationships. This meeting brought together a group of passionate and highly respected researchers who had never met before. They were open minded and creative in discussing shared interests and ways of working together. It was high energy, hard working and a lot of fun. There is a real commitment to expanding and developing the network and we are already looking forward to the second network meeting in Europe next year.”

Professor Alison Chambers, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Health, Psychology and Social Care and Professor Richard Greene, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange, gave the welcome and closing addresses respectively, both emphasising their support for the wide ranging and burgeoning substance use research at Manchester Metropolitan.