In July 2019 the Social Studies of Addiction Concepts (SSAC) program underwent a significant move, relocating from the National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University, to the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University. Led by Professor Suzanne Fraser, who has taken up the role of Director of ARCSHS, the team is currently settling into its new home.
Over the six years since SSAC was established, our program conducted research across a range of areas of drug use and addiction studies. A consistent thread running through that work has been attention to the place of gender and sexuality in the issues commonly understood to be fundamentally about drug use. Examples of this attention include our interest in the role of couples in safe injecting practice, issues of masculinity in men’s use of performance and image-enhancing drugs and the place of intimate relationships in overdose prevention. With its move to ARCSHS, the team will be able to attend to questions relating to gender and sexuality even more closely, while continuing to consider broader drug-use related questions of ongoing interest to the program, such as stigma and discrimination, selfhood and wellbeing, and responsibilisation and the individual. In doing so, it will also continue to conduct its characteristic combination of theoretically innovative and practically relevant research.
As part of the change, the SSAC program will undergo a name change, becoming the Drugs, Gender and Sexuality Research Program (or DruGS). This change will also apply to our Twitter account, so please look out for our tweets under this new name. We’ll also be welcoming into the program colleagues who have made the move to ARCSHS with us: Professor David Moore and Dr Duane Duncan.
As Suzanne said of the move:
This change is an exciting one for the whole team. We’re looking forward to expanding our research into these incredibly important areas, collaborating with the exceptional ARCSHS research team, and bringing to ARCSHS a new body of expertise and experience. We thank everyone who has supported SSAC over the years and invite you to stay in touch to see what the future brings for our newly conceived program.