LJMU Drug Related Deaths Conference 2024

Drug Related Deaths Conference 2024

DRD Conference 2024

The LJMU Drug Related Deaths Conference 2024 took place online on Thursday 25th April (09:00-17:00).

This full day online event was split into several sessions, with presentations and Q&A sessions. The session were structured to allow delegates to drop in and out or stay online for the whole thing, this allowed over 800 people to attend at some point during the day. Details including presentation topics and bio's are available for all of our conference speakers below, as well as the short poster presentations.

A big thank you to everyone who attended, presented, and contributed during the conference. Links to the presentation slides, and also a recording of the conference presentations are available on this conference webpage. We have also included some of the links and resources mentioned in the conference chat.

  Conference Speakers

9:00Conference welcome and housekeeping

Mark Whitfield, Liverpool John Moores University

Welcome and opening comments

 Mark's presentation

9:15Session 1:Learnings from Scotland,drug checking & toxicology in England

Professor Catriona Matheson, University of Stirling, & Independent Review Consultant in Substance Related Deaths

Reducing Drug Related Deaths: Learning from the Scottish Drug Death Taskforce

 Catriona's presentation

Professor Fiona Measham, Chair in Criminology, University of Liverpool

The long and winding round to city drug checking: Reflections on the history, development and rollout of drug checking services in the UK

Dr Caroline Copeland, Kings College London

Learnings from the National Programme on Substance Use Mortality (NPSUM)

 Caroline's presentation

10:50Session 2:Updates from around the UK

Jon Shorrock, Programme Manager OHID, Department of Health & Social Care England

National Update on Drug Related Deaths: Data and Responses

 Jon's presentation

Dr Anne Campbell, Queen's University Belfast

A multi disciplinary approach to Drug Related Deaths in Northern Ireland

 Anne's presentation

Professor Rick Lines, Public Health Wales

Drug Related Deaths in Wales: Current Data and Emerging Concerns

 Rick's presentation

Posters Session:short quick fire poster presentations

12:30Lunch break

If you tweet / post about this event please include the tag #DRDevent

13:00Session 3:Stigma, loneliness, & harm reduction

Peter Furlong, National Harm Reduction Lead, Change Grow Live, &
Jon Findlay, National Harm Reduction Lead, Humankind

Changes in the global opium market and the rise New Synthetic Opioids

 Peter & Jon's presentation

Professor Harry Sumnall, Liverpool John Moores University

The role of stigma in drug and alcohol related deaths

 Harry's presentation

Liz McCoy, Drug & Alcohol Directorate Manager, Pennine Care NHS FT, &
Jackie McVan, Head of CGL services Greater Manchester

Loneliness, isolation and addiction

 Liz & Jackie's presentation

14:30Session 4:Approaches to overdose prevention

Kirsten Horsburgh, Chief Executive Officer, Scottish Drugs Forum

The progress towards Safer Drug Consumption Facilities in Scotland

 Kirsten's presentation

Dr Rebecca Fish, Senior Research Associate, Lancaster University

Evaluation of Buvidal prescribing in Blackpool

 Rebecca's presentation

Sam Cromie & Dr Tim Lewington, Inclusion, part of Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust

“It’s not a f***ing watch is it?” – Evaluating the co-produced Brave Inclusion Overdose (BIO) Wristband

 Sam & Tim's presentation

16:00Session 5:Clinical Pathways & GP learnings

Elizabeth Booth, Clinical Lead Liverpool, & Ariella Williams, National Director of Nursing, With You

Respiratory Disease in Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services: Clinical Pathway

 Elizabeth & Ariella's presentation

Dr Judith Yates, Doctors for Drug Policy Reform (D4DPR)

As Britain loses its war on drugs, what will happen in 2024?

 Judith's presentation

  Poster Presentations  (click posters to view)

Sarah Humphreys, With You, &
Derek Sharples, Mersey Care NHS FT

Liverpool DARD partnership working

Jess Hamilton, Newcastle City Council

Deaths of despair, Newcastle.

Lucy O'Hare & Maddie O'Hare, Harm Reduction International

HR25 conference

  Conference recorded video

Conference Video

This video with presentations from the conference is almost 5½ hours in length. To watch an individual presentation or speaker please use the time points below, or open the video in YouTube and use the time point chapters listed in the description.

  • 0:00:48 Mark Whitfield
  • 0:10:14 Catriona Matheson
  • 0:38:07 Fiona Measham
  • 1:04:19 Caroline Copeland
  • 1:25:31 Jon Shorrock
  • 1:47:53 Anne Campbell
  • 2:05:52 Rick Lines
  • 2:25:59 Jess Hamilton & Matty Starforth
  • 2:31:39 Sarah Humphreys & Derek Sharples
  • 2:37:06 Lucy & Maddie O'Hare
  • 2:44:04 Peter Furlong & Jon Findlay [We're sorry, this has no audio]
  • 2:47:50 Harry Sumnall
  • 3:06:03 Liz McCoy & Jackie McVan
  • 3:32:11 Kirsten Horsburgh
  • 3:54:25 Rebecca Fish
  • 4:18:11 Sam Cromie & Tim Lewington
  • 4:35:54 Elizabeth Booth & Ariella Williams
  • 4:52:50 Dr Judith Yates
  • 5:19:00 Conference close

  Presentations - shared links and resources

Naloxone and using alone

 Naloxone and using alone posters

HIT article: Stayin’ Alive


Deaths of despair (video)

 www.manchester.ac.uk /discover/news

  Resources and networking

Some great networking and resource sharing took place in the chat area of this conference, so we've shared some links and notes here. If you have anything you'd like to add to this page please click to contact us

WHO declares loneliness a ‘global public health concern’

Shared by: Mark Whitfield, Liverpool John Moores University

The World Health Organization has launched an international commission on loneliness, which can be as bad for people’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day


Peer to Peer naloxone

Link shared by: Julie Heslin McCartney, Scottish Drugs Forum

The Scottish Drugs Forum lead on a national programme for Peer to Peer naloxone supply. You can see figures from this in Public Health Scotland's naloxone monitoring report.


Turning Point Scotland evaluation report on overdose response teams

Link shared by: Fran Piccoletti

Turning Point Scotland and Simon Community Scotland Overdose Response Teams Evaluation provides evidence that overdose awareness, Naloxone training and provision together with other harm reduction measures, directly and indirectly, prevents drug deaths.


A multicomponent holistic care pathway for people who use drugs in Tayside, Scotland

Link shared by: Chris Byrne

Picking up on wider physical and emotional health, an e.g. of a wraparound care pathway at harm reduction sites in tayside which includes cardiovascular screening, respiratory screening, etc. alongside harm reduction provision



Link shared by: Catriona Matheson

'Naboxone', a public access naloxone cabinet



Link shared by: Catriona Matheson

International Technology Solutions to Prevent Opiate Overdose (ITSPOON)


Deaths in prison

Link shared by: Jon Findlay, Humankind

Drug related deaths and suicides in prison and custody - Office for National Statistics (England and Wales)


Deaths in prison

Link shared by: Karen Critchley, LJMU

The risk matrix: Drug-related deaths in prisons in England and Wales, 2015–2020


Stigma Video

Link shared by: Hannah Lundberg, LJMU

Stigma: A call to action. Newcastle Safeguarding Sdults Board (Video)


The opioid overdose crisis

Link shared by: Chris Byrne,

The triple wave epidemic: Supply and demand drivers of the US opioid overdose crisis


National Digital Inclusion Network

Link shared by: Keeleigh Hallam,

The digital divide impacts hugely on loneliness. Good Things Foundation is a charity that tries to tackle this and great resource of information for anyone interested in this topic.


Anti stigma network

Link shared by: Harry Sumnall, Liverpool John Moores University

Anti Stigma Resources.


Loneliness questionnaire

Link shared by: Liz McCoy

The short UCLA questionnaire on Loneliness.


The toll of ‘Deaths of Despair’ in England

Link shared by: Liz McCoy & Jackie McVan

Blog writen by colleagues from Manchester University.


5 steps to mental wellbeing

Link shared by: Liz McCoy & Jackie McVan

Evidence suggests there are 5 steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Trying these things could help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life.


How to talk about the building blocks of health

Link shared by: Alex Melaugh

A communications toolkit for people working in public health.


"Taking away the chaos"

Link shared by: Kirsten Horsburgh

The health needs of people who inject drugs in public places in Glasgow city centre.


Paper on effectiveness / cost-effectiveness of Buvidal

Link shared by: Alex Melaugh

Superiority and cost-effectiveness of monthly extended-release buprenorphine versus daily standard of care medication: a pragmatic, parallel-group, open-label, multicentre, randomised, controlled, phase 3 trial.


Buvidal Peer-led review

Link shared by:

Insights, data and recommendations on improving the treatment journey - led by people with lived and living experience of addiction.


Anyone's Child

Link shared by: David Tebbet

Anyone's Child Families for Safer Drug Control is a network of families whose have been impacted by current drug laws.


The Issue - Investigating His Own Death: Will’s Story

Link shared by: Howard Reed

The parents of an autistic teenager who died from an accidental overdose say they had to investigate his death themselves to find out what killed him. Will Melbourne, 19, had mistakenly taken metonitazene, a strong synthetic opioid he bought on the dark web


Drug testing machines

Link shared by: Shaun Meenaghan

Piloting Trace Narcotic Detection Machines to identify substances in real time


  Microsoft Teams

This conference is a Microsoft Teams Webinar. Here are some of our Tips...

For the best experience use the Microsoft Teams Desktop App.

  • You will see speakers in addition to any presentation slides.

If you are using the ‘web browser’ version of Teams you will have a different experience.

  • You may only see the presentation slides.
  • You can still hear audio, and contribute in the chat.

Question & Answer sessions:

  • The webinar has a separate Q&A window use this to ask questions as they may get lost in the general chat window.

If you would like to contribute during the Q&A sessions, please raise your hand.

  • We can then allow you to unmute yourself.
  • If you are brought into discussion you can enable your mic and camera.

For all attendees:

  • Please use the chat for general discussion.
  • Use the reactions to respond to presentations and discussions.

Presentations online.

  • The presentations and a recording of this webinar will be available on this website shortly after the event.


Many of our speakers are active on Twitter/X.

If you want to tweet/post about this event please remember to include the tag #DRDevent

  Previous themes and discussion topics have included:


How has this changed the offer from services and what will we keep going forward?

Mental Health

What are the barriers to people who use drugs (PWUD) receiving quality mental health care?


How can we keep the homeless population safe from overdose?


What can we be done about increased deaths from controlled medications?

End of Life care / Bereavement

Are PWUD receiving a consistent level of care and what support is there for those left behind?

Legal status

What can be done at a local level to make a difference?


How can we protect people who use drugs from overdose on their release from prison?


How can we ensure it is freely available to those who need it?