Editor’s Note: With this post, Points is pleased to inaugurate a new regular feature highlighting interviews from the “Addiction Lives” interview project, a print and online collaboration between the Society for the Study of Addiction and the journal Addiction.
The journal Addiction’s long-running interview series, “Addiction Interviews,” was reintroduced in 2017 as “Addiction Lives,” a joint print/web collaboration with the Society for the Study of Addiction (SSA). The new series, under the editorship of Professor Virginia Berridge, was introduced in an Addiction editorial by Jean O’Reilly and Robert West in December 2017.
The original “Addiction Interviews” ran for 36 years (from 1979–2015) under the editorship of Professor Griffith Edwards. The series provided wide-ranging conversations with more than 100 people who had contributed to the field of addiction studies at local, national, and international levels. It focused in particular on the field’s scientists and those who developed links with policy. A virtual issue of Addiction available in the Wiley Online Library provides links to the full series of 111 interviews and includes a reflection from Thomas Babor about the series.
The new interviews continue the same mission as the original series and focus on the views and personal experiences of people who have made particular contributions to the evolution of ideas in the field. The full interviews are posted online on the SSA website and a summary is published in Addiction. The original interviews were largely unstructured, and the interviewers remained anonymous. The online platform now allows for the inclusion of enhanced content such as audio and video recordings and linked short bibliographies of the interviewees’ work. Addiction continues to commission the series and suggestions for interviewees are always welcome! Please email any suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s featured interviews are with Professor Betsy Thom and Harry Shapiro.
Today’s first featured interview is with Professor Betsy Thom, Head of the Drug & Alcohol Research Centre at Middlesex University, London. She is a social scientist with a special interest in policy and the policy process in the alcohol and drug field. She has published widely on a range of alcohol and drug issues and acted as a consultant on evaluations of the European Union Alcohol Strategy. She was Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy for 20 years. This interview was conducted by Professor Virginia Berridge on April 23, 2018, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
In her interview, Professor Betsy Thom talks to Professor Berridge about some of the highlights of her career from her first jobs in addiction, working with Griffith Edwards at the Institute of Psychiatry, to editing the journal Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy. Professor Thom also talks about some of the changes she has seen in that time and discusses her thoughts on conflicts of interest and the move towards a public health agenda.
Listen to a trailer for Prof. Thom’s interview below.
Please visit the “Addiction Lives” website to listen to the full interview or read the transcript of the conversation with Prof. Betsy Thom.
Today’s second featured interview is with journalist and author Harry Shapiro, the Director of DrugWise, which “promot[es] evidence-based information on drugs, alcohol and tobacco.” He previously worked for Drugscope and its predecessor the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence. He is the author of numerous books, including Recreational Drugs: A Directory (2004), Waiting for the Man: the Story of Drugs and Popular Music (2003), and Fierce Chemistry: A History of the Drugs War (2021). This interview was conducted online by Professor Virginia Berridge on October 15, 2020.
In his interview, Harry Shapiro talks about working in addiction from his first job at the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence (ISDD) library in 1979 to developing DrugScope, DrugWise, and DS daily. Shapiro discusses the long process of finding a home for the library of addiction resources from those organizations and about how addiction treatment and policies have changed over time. He also comments on the future of addiction treatment and his recent work on vaping.
Listen to a trailer for Shapiro’s interview below.
Please visit the “Addiction Lives” website to listen to the full interview or read the transcript of the conversation with Harry Shapiro.