A team of researchers led by SSAC’s Associate Professor Suzanne Fraser has been awarded $499,000 by the Australian Research Council to conduct research into lived experiences of addiction in Australia. This project, entitled ‘Experiences of addiction, treatment and recovery: An online resource for members of the public, health professionals and policy makers’, is the first of its kind. It will collect and analyse the personal accounts of people who describe themselves as having an addiction, and present these (anonymised) accounts in textual, audio and re-enacted video form on a publicly accessible website, livesofsubstance.org. The aim of the study is to generate much-needed new insights into the range of experiences that make up life for people who consider themselves to have an addiction. How do people manage this aspect of their lives? How do they cope with the stigma associated with addiction? What kind of help do they seek, where necessary? What do ideas of well-being or recovery mean to them? What resources are important to them? The project will also collect material from service providers, who will be asked for their perspectives on addiction, treatment and other services, and these will also appear on the web site as well. The resulting website will be available for training, information and public awareness purposes.
The project team comprises: