Health Sciences Group Summer School 2014

Matthew Thornes from the University of Nottingham reports on the U21 HSG summer school on Substance Misuse.

In July I travelled overseas to New Zealand to attend the Universitas 21 Health Sciences Group Summer School on behalf of the University of Nottingham. The summer school, Substance Misuse: A harm Reduction Approach took a health-focused approach to reducing harm for individuals, communities and populations through harm reduction when concerning tobacco, alcohol or illegal drugs. Students from universities in Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Ireland, Korea, Mexico, Sweden, the UK and the USA attended.

The two-week course explored a number of psychoactive substances whilst exploring concepts related to public health, harm reduction and the development of educational interventions. Working in a multidisciplinary healthcare student team I spent the time developing a harm reduction intervention regarding alcohol. With guest speakers such as Professor David Nutt and Doctor Thomas Babor I felt very privileged to have attended the school. Organised by the Director of the Centre for Addiction Research, Associate Professor Janie Sheridan, the school was a huge success bringing future healthcare professionals from around the world together in a great learning experience.