ESSD Conference 2020 : Call for abstracts

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ESSD conference 2020 will take place from Thursday 24 September 2020 to Saturday 26 September 2020. The European Society for Social Drug Research (ESSD) was founded in 1990 to promote social science approaches to drugs research, with special reference to the situation in Europe ( The society holds an annual conference providing scope for collaboration and co-operation among researchers working in the drugs field.
ESSD members and other researchers who wish to attend the 31st Annual Conference are invited to submit abstracts of their conference papers no later than 10th April 2020.

Abstracts (see themes and details below) should be sent as a Word file to

If you wish to attend the conference without giving a presentation, please inform us in advance.

Presentations should preferably include a European dimension (such as reporting on research or issues from more than one European country, comparisons between data from European studies), and/or theoretical analysis that draws inferences from the local to the global. Presentations restricted to the description of interventions or (local) policies will not be accepted. Qualitative studies are particularly welcome. Each presentation lasts for 15 minutes, followed by ample time for jointly discussing the presentations of each session. The conference language is English.

The accepted abstracts will conform to one or more of the following themes:

Preferably qualitative research on new trends in use and users on drug use (incl. transnational dimension, not only prevalence rates) ● Social norms and context surrounding legal drugs and how these might be relevant to illegal drugs ● The illegal use of legal drugs ● Poly-drug use ● NPS use ● Performance enhancing drugs ● Patterns of use and using careers among diverse population groups

Innovative theories or concepts for drug policy ● Evaluation of drug policy approaches ● Comparative drug policy analysis ● Legislative/policy changes affecting availability and/or use ● Critical reflections on drug demand and supply interventions and stigmatisation of users ● Innovative or controversial interventions in drug policy

Organisation, maintenance and structure of drug markets: production and routes of supply ● Different types of drug dealing activities by drug type and user population ● Impacts of supply control and law enforcement measures ● Financing drug-using lifestyles ● Drug markets and power structures in prisons ● Online drug markets

Drug distribution and cultures on Darknet and Clearnet illicit drug markets ● Role of cryptomarkets, social media, discussion boards, etc. in influencing drug trends and drug policies ● Online prevention and counselling ● Interrelation between online and offline drug spaces ● Governance by and of online drug markets ● Coordination practices in digital drug markets ● Development and comparison of drug prices online/offline

Innovative and mixed methods ● Reflexivity in drug research ● Sampling, representativeness and bias ● Non-representational methods in drug research ● Online vs. offline methods ● Researching vulnerable populations ● Ethical challenges in drug research

Abstract layout

  1. Max. 1,5 page
  2. Theme (from the list on the previous page)
  3. Title of the paper
  4. Author(s): name(s), qualification(s), job title(s)
  5. Contact details: full postal address, telephone, email address(es)
  6. Abstract (not more than 400 words), including objectives, methodology, significant results and conclusions
  7. Technical equipment required for the presentation
  8. Word format

Abstract review

Abstracts will be reviewed using the following criteria:

  • Overall quality
  • Relevance to the conference themes
  • European dimension
  • Theoretical reflections
  • Added value with respect to earlier contributions at ESSD conferences

In general, not more than two presentations from members of the same institute or affiliation will be accepted.

Acceptance of papers will be distributed by 18th May 2020.

Participants are very welcome to bring copies of their full papers and other material for distribution at the conference.

Conference fee

The standard conference fee is EUR 100. Student and reduced fee is EUR 50.

Information on conference venue and hotels

The annual ESSD conferences always take place in close collaboration with local organisers; this year’s local organiser will be Dr. Meropi Tzanetakis (Department of Political Science, University of Vienna, and Dr. Alfred Uhl (Psychotherapy Science, Sigmund Freud Private University, and Austrian Public Health Institute,

The ESSD conference 2020 will take place from Thursday 24 September 2020 at 9:00am CET to Saturday 26 September 2020 at 14:00pm CET. An optional social event will be organised on Wednesday evening 7:00 pm CET for those participants arriving early enough. Further social events will take place during the conference.

The venue is located at the University of Vienna:
Alte Kapelle, Altes AKH/Campus, Hof 1
(Spitalgasse 2, Hof 1, 1090 Vienna, Austria)
Google maps:

The organisers will try to arrange special conditions in some hotels easy to reach from the conference venue. Participants need to organise their own accommodation.

Further information regarding the conference venue, accommodation, how to register and pay the fee, etc. will be announced shortly at:

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