Professor Bruce Alexander was the keynote speaker at the event. His powerpoint presentation can be accessed below. We had technical problems on the day and he was not able to go through all the slides but this gives an indication of his main points.
We have outlined some of Professor Alexander's work and experience below but you can get information on his recent book The Globalization of Addiction: A study in the poverty of the spirit from his dedicated website.
Bruce Alexander has explored many corners of the addiction field since he joined the psychology department at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada in 1970. He has counseled hard-core heroin addicts, conducted psychopharmacological research (the “Rat Park” experiments), supervised field research on cocaine use for the World Health Organization, studied the history of drug law and drug policy, documented the diverse addictions of university students, studied the “temperance mentality” in several countries, explored the addiction of Scots who migrated to Canada in the 18th and 19th centuries, served on the Boards of NGOs in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and published two controversial books, Peaceful Measures: Canada’s Way Out of the War on Drugs (University of Toronto Press, 1990) and The Globalization of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit (Oxford University Press, 2008). Since retiring from the university as Professor Emeritus in 2005, Dr. Alexander continues to write, conduct research and teach neighbourhood addiction seminars in Vancouver. He lectures frequently across Canada and in Europe. He was awarded the Sterling Prize for Controversy in 2007.