HED Conference Material

In this section you can find information from radio talks, interviews, discussions, conferences and speakers that (also) focussed on human enhancement drugs including anabolic steroids and other ‘muscle drugs’, ‘smart drugs’, doping, and performance and image enhancing drugs. It includes slides, videos and other material.

1. HIT drug and alcohol resources: performance and image enhancing drugs 

This Hot Topics seminar examined the emerging threat to public heath from the increasing use of enhancement drugs and the services for users of these drugs both from a worker point of view and that of a user.

Speakers included:

Jim McVeigh – Deputy Director/Reader in Substance Use Epidemiology, Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University.

Jim’s presentation, entitled Human enhancement and the pursuit of perfection, looked at the emerging threat to public health posed by the use of human enhancement drugs, which has remained largely unrecognised, in true ‘Jim’ style this included more than a few references to Doctor Who. You can access the presentation HERE.

Josie Smith – Research Scientist, Health Protection, Public Health Wales

Josie outlined the emergence of steroids in the Welsh treatment system and the work undertaken as a result, including the creation of the SIEDinfo.co.uk (Steroids and Image Enhancing Drugs) website. You can access the presentation HERE

2. HIT drug and alcohol resources: Hot Topics 2015. 

On the 27th of November 2015 HITorganised the fifth annual Hot Topics Conference. The venue of Lutyens Crypt in the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral acted as a fantastic backdrop for a range of international speakers. This page contains the presentations from the day including video footage so even if you didn’t get to attend you can benefit from the knowledge shared. The conference also included talks on human enhancement drugs/performance and image enhancing drugs:

Josie Smith – WEDINOS

Josie is Head of Substance Misuse, Public Health Wales. She has had an extensive career working, both at frontline, research and policy development level, in the field of drugs, alcohol and complex needs. Since joining Public Health in 2004, Josie has developed and implemented a range of innovative public health programmes.

Josie spoke about the WEDINOS national framework for the collection, analysis and dissemination of information relating to novel and/or unknown substances and combinations of substances, both psychoactive and performance/image enhancing drugs. Which is used to improve the provision of relevant harm reduction advice and service development. You can access the presentation HERE: both the slides as the video.

Bengt Kayser – Human enhancement drugs, is there reason to think harm reduction?

Bengt studied medicine in Amsterdam before moving to Switzerland where he is teaching and researching at the University of Lausanne. Next to his work as an exercise physiologist he is working on the ethics of doping and anti-doping from a general human enhancement perspective.

The use of drugs to improve human performance, for example to improve physical performance in sports or cognitive performance at work may be increasing. Two opposing discourses can be heard, akin to those concerning the use of recreational drugs, a conservative one promoting zero-tolerance and repression, and a more liberal one promoting relaxation and individual autonomy. While public debate is on-going, harm reduction measures makes sense, for example by providing needle exchange for anabolic steroid use in body builders. Extension of such approaches merits reflection and debate. You can access the presentation HERE: both the slides as the video.

3. National Needle Exchange Forum (NNEF): Bournemouth All Day Meeting (September 2013)

The meeting showcased the latest practice, developments and issues for needle and syringe programmes in England including the use of anabolic steroids and other performance and image enhancing drugs. Keeping harm reduction at the heart of drug strategy is a key concern of the National Needle Exchange Forum (NNEF)’s annual meeting.

Speakers, for example, included:

 Vivian Hope:

Vivian Hope from Public Health England gives an update on current knowledge about people who inject drugs in England including steroid and other image enhancing drug users. You can watch the presentation HERE.

 Josie Smith:

 Josie talks about an online survey of people who use steroids and image enhancing drugs. You can watch the presentation HERE.

4. SCI TV: The Brain, Smart Drugs, and Sports

In this episode of SCI TV, we speak with accomplished neuroscientist Anjan Chatterjee (Pennsylvania Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania) about the ethics and dangers of using so-called “smart drugs” in sports. You can watch the video HERE.

5. RadioTimes: ‘Smart Drugs’

Use of ‘smart drugs’ is on the rise. In high-pressure workplaces, people are popping prescriptiob drugs like Adderall, which is used to treat ADHD, and Modafinil, which is used to treat narcolepsy. These cognitive enhancers have also become more commonplace on college campuses and in high schools. Students are using them to stay alert and awake while cramming or taking exams. But what effects to these drugs have on our minds and our bodies? In this radio talk biological and ethical issues surrounding cognitive enhancers are discussed. You can listen to the talk HERE.

6. MPR News: Intelligence Squared debate: College students should be allowed to take smart drugs

College students are heading back to school after long vacations, and many of them are apparently using pharmaceuticals to help them stay focused and alert for longer periods of time. Is off-label use of so-called “smart drugs” cheating, and is it dangerous? Experts debate the benefits and the risks.

Motion: College students should be allowed to take smart drugs. YES: Dr. Anjan Chatterjee of Univ. of Penn. and Nita Farahany of Duke. NO: Nicole Vincent of Georgia State and Dr. Eric Racine of IRCM. You can listen to the talk HERE.