Updates In Addiction 2023

This will be our 3rd Hazell Forums- Updates in Addiction conference.

Our yearly conference in ‘Updates in Addiction’ is a highly anticipated event in the field of mental health, specifically focusing on addiction. With a line-up of expert speakers, attendees will have the opportunity to hear about the latest findings, theories, and research in the area of addiction.

The conference, taking place at the centrally located One Birdcage Walk- London, will provide attendees with a unique opportunity to learn, network and connect with other professionals in the community of mental health. In addition to informative and engaging discussions, attendees can expect delicious food and beverages to be provided. This is an event not to be missed by anyone working in the field of mental health and addiction.

As always, Hazell Forums aims to create a welcoming environment which focuses on education and networking, with a no sponsorship approach.

The Schedule

Dr. Randolph Willis - "The use of psychedelics in the treatment of addictions" A question for debate

Synopsis: A brief history of the use of psychedelics in the treatment of addictions will be presented as well as a review of the scientific literature on the subject, the psychopharmacology and hypothesis of the therapeutic effect will be explained and a clinical pearl will be given to illustrate this technique.

Bio: Dr. Willis has been treating patients for substance abuse and other addictive behaviors for the past thirty years. He worked as an associate doctor at the Clinique la Métairie in Nyon, Switzerland where he lead group therapy and one-to-one sessions using the Minnesota method and self-hypnosis techniques in the clinic’s substance abuse unit. For the past five years his role as Medical Director at the Clinic Les Alpes in Montreux, Switzerland is the culmination of his professional aspirations and personal vocation in which he oversees a team caring for people and their families in the domain of addictions and other psychiatric disorders. In the domain of research, he is currently paticipating in a study with Professor Daniele Zullino at the University of Geneva in the experimental use of psychedelics for the treatment of varied mental disorders.

Dr Nirvana Morgan - "Re-framing addiction and family dynamics: Challenging stigmatising language"

Synopsis: Family members play a significant role in addiction as they are typically the primary source of support and influence for individuals struggling with addiction. Unfortunately, families are often characterized solely by terms such as “codependent,” “enablers,” and “toxic.” Dr. Morgan will discuss the impact of these terms and their usefulness in clinical settings. The talk will also cover evidence-based recommendations on how to involve family members and improve the outcomes of addiction treatment.

Bio: Nirvana lives in Germany and runs a concierge family recovery coaching practice based on Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT). She is also a board-certified Psychiatrist and a fellow of the College of Psychiatrists in South Africa.

In 2017, Nirvana won a prestigious scholarship, allowing her to complete a PhD in addiction psychiatry. Her research has been published in peer review journals and presented at international forums. She was an invited speaker at the World Health Organization’s (WHO) headquarters in Geneva and regularly collaborates on projects with the WHO Alcohol, Drugs and Addictive Behaviours unit.

In 2018 she was named one of the Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans.

From 2021 to 2023, she was an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow at Ulm University in Germany, where she researched suicide and addiction. In addition, she regularly teaches and lectures on the topics of addiction and mental health.

Nirvana is also the co-founder and past chairperson of the international Network of Early Career Professionals working in the area of Addiction Medicine (NECPAM e.V). She currently holds the position of director of the NECPAM board

Jason Kew - "Police, going soft on drugs?"

Synopsis: Dame Carol Black has created a stir within the political and enforcement arena of drug policy. Her 32 recommendations all of which are leaning towards anti stigma, public health approaches and cross sector evidence based interventions to tackling the demand and supply of drugs, delivering a world class treatment and recovery service and protecting our young people. These recommendations all require a shift in not only policy making, but shared budgets and importantly challenging the status quo of political ideology. After all, there is nothing soft about preventing death.

Bio: In Jason’s time as a police officer, he came to understand the unintended consequences and subsequent damage caused by marginalisation and inequality within the justice system, and became a passionate advocate for challenging stigma and diverting people away from the criminal justice system. He helped to develop the Thames Valley drug diversion scheme, which enables everyone found with controlled drugs an assessment of their use and education/harm reduction without the need for arrest, interview nor admission of guilt.

Jason is currently Honorary Member of the Faculty of Public Health (Drugs Special Interest Group), and Visiting Fellow, University of South Wales, Substance Use Research Group. He is an Innovative Practice Officer at the Centre for Justice Innovation and the lead for Berkshire Combating Drugs Partnership (CDP).

Dr Mathai Isaac - "Integrative Medicine For Addiction And Mental Health Disorders"

Synopsis: The holistic approach of understanding a person with mind, body and spirit connection is important for any healing process.

An integrative approach to addiction and mental health recognizes that every individual is unique and requires a personalized treatment plan that addresses their specific needs and circumstances. By combining different systems of medicine like Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Homeopathy, therapeutic yoga and complementary therapies, an integrative approach provides a more comprehensive and effective treatment for addiction and mental health disorders.

This approach addresses the complexities between addiction and mental health disorders. The goal is to provide holistic and comprehensive treatments that addresses the underlying causes of addiction and mental health issues, including physical, environmental, sociological and psychological factors.

Bio: Treating patients from over 90 countries, Dr Mathai is a leader in the field of holistic medicine. A testament to this is Soukya, which has been rated as the best holistic health centre in India.

Dr Mathai is from a family that has a tradition of homoeopathic medical practice for over 50 years. Having worked with his mother Dr Annamma Mathai as a child, Dr Mathai imbibed the knowledge, compassion, experience and above all, the need to serve mankind. He is an internationally renowned holistic health consultant and a medically qualified homoeopathic physician.

David Charkham - “Outside Edge Theatre Company – The Drama of Recovery”

Synopsis Outside Edge Theatre Company (OETC) is the UK’s only theatre company and participatory arts charity focused on improving the lives of people affected by any form of addiction, including their families, carers and champions. Since 1999, OETC has produced theatre productions about issues related to addiction, from substance misuse to problem gambling, and provided free drama workshops to help people make healthier choices and support their recovery maintenance.

OETC’s Artistic Director will discuss how the company uses drama to support people to build Recovery Capital and develop a unique Recovery Community. He will be joined by David Charkham.

David Charkham is an Addiction Recovery Coach, motivational speaker and actor.

After his own battle with addiction, David developed his Recovery Skills Programme . In 1992 The CNWL NHS Mental Heath Trust created the role of Recovery Skills Specialist for him where he stayed in post for 21years . He now works across the music and entertainment industry, sharing his story on sobriety and asking the key question ‘Now that you’ve stopped, how do you stay stopped ?’. Also known as ‘The Godfather of Recovery Coaches’, David has worked with many high profile performers, spanning many years and continents. As part of his international work he is Ambassador for The Cabin Chaing Mai Thailand

Christopher Albert Holt is an actor, a theatre director, a lecturer, a voice coach and a disability arts practitioner. He has worked for 30 years in professional theatre, beginning with the National Youth Theatre at the age of 15. He has worked all over Europe, appearing in shows nationally and internationally. He has performed in venues as disparate as the Moscow Arts Theatre, the National Theatre, Wembley Stadium, Royal Albert Hall and the Hen and Chickens pub in Islington.

As an actor, Christopher has worked across musical theatre, straight theatre, opera and film. He has appeared in the three largest musicals in the world: Les Misérables (West End), CATS (Hamburg) and The Lion King (Original Cast, London). He has worked with Trevor Nunn, Sam Mendes, Julie Taymor, Matthew Warchus and Matthew Bourne. He has played the Olivier, the Donmar Warehouse, the Palace and the Lyceum (West End), as well as the West Yorkshire Playhouse, the Barbican, the BAC, Bath Theatre Royal, the Watermill, Newbury, the Tristan Bates, and Southwark Playhouse.

Matt Steinberg has been the Artistic Director/CEO of Outside Edge Theatre Company since 2018. He is passionate about intersections between professional and community arts, building evidence for arts-based health and wellbeing interventions and the development of early career artists. With over 20 years of international experience in the arts and cultural sector, he is an award-winning artistic director, stage director and performer.

Matt was a New Generation Artist at Iford Arts and was awarded Equity Charitable Trust’s John Fernald Award for Emerging Directors, the Tyrone Guthrie Award from the Stratford Festival and the Christopher Plummer Award from Shakespeare’s Globe Centre Canada. Directing credits include Soho Theatre, Shoreditch Town Hall, the VAULT Festival, Southwark Playhouse, Theatre503, Iford Arts, New Diorama and Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre. His work as an actor includes productions at the Finborough Theatre, the Stratford Festival of Canada, New York’s Ensemble Studio Theatre and Classic Stage Company.

Forum- Breaking Barriers: Exploring Collaborative Approaches in the Addiction Industry

Through our market research conducted with over 500 clinicians, one of the main issues clinicians highlighted was collaboration.

Collaboration between professionals allows better patient outcomes, increased access to resources, increased efficiency, increased knowledge sharing and helps improve reputation. However, barriers continue to exist, possibly due to:

  • Lack of standardised protocols
  • Competition
  • Different treatment approaches
  • Lack of trust

In this forum, we will discuss the barriers and how we as a community can help solve them .

MC for the forum discussion – Paul Flynn, Founder & CEO of Addcouncel & Orcherstate Health

Paul Flynn is a successful businessman based in London. After completing the sale of his international recruitment business Staffgroup to The Cordant Group for £25m in 2015, and inspired by his own personal journey of recovery, he set up Addcounsel.

Offering expert private treatment for a range of addictive and mental health disorders, Addcounsel treat just one client at a time in luxury private accommodation, providing 24/7 medically led care. Paul elected to set up the facility in London, because of the fact it’s the renowned epicentre of private healthcare in Europe, with access to the most qualified mental health care professionals. His highly skilled multidisciplinary team provide comprehensive treatment programmes that are individually designed to ensure an unrivalled level of care. Most important to Paul is that Addcounsel’s values are centred on kindness and compassion, with long term recovery at its core.

Martin created Delamere in order to provide exemplary care in first class facilities. As the UK’s only purpose-built addiction treatment and behavioural health clinic, Delamere is fast becoming recognised as the premier addiction treatment clinic in Europe.

Martin is also one of the authors of the Delamere blog. Find out more about Martin on his LinkedIn.

Robb’s experience in the addiction treatment field spans over 40 years, during which he served as Director of Operations and Business Development at a luxury treatment center in California, co-launched a treatment facility in Kentucky, and raised awareness about adolescent substance abuse with an educational nonprofit. Robb now draws on his time in the rehab industry, his experience as a municipal judge, and his own family history to serve others seeking treatment.

Malminder has won several prestigious awards for her work as a Hypnotherapist. She takes a multifaceted, integrative approach to therapy by blending hypnosis, neuro-linguistic programming, emotional freedom technique, and coaching. She has been assisting clients with positive change (both privately and in major corporations) since 2011.

Meena Lavender is a family therapist and EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) practitioner at Camino Recovery. With training in bilingual counselling from Reading University, and a certificate in addictions counselling from London’s University of Greenwich, she has a wealth of experience working in the field of chemical dependency, addiction recovery and trauma resolution.