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Annual conferences

At the first ESSD conference in 1990, nearly all the participants took an active role and presented their own research. This active participation has remained a characteristic feature of ESSD conferences and means that participants can actively and effectively share their experiences with their colleagues across Europe.

Because active participation has always been a key feature of the conferences, the ESSD has never sought to greatly enlarge the number of participants beyond 50, of whom approx. 35 give a presentation. There are no parallel sessions nor workshops and all presentations last for 15 minutes. After each two presentations, there are 15 minutes for discussion. This conference format has clearly enhanced the quality of discussions and facilitated the exchange of ideas and experiences. Such an atmosphere is also appropriate for participants new to the field, especially young and new researchers.

Another tradition has been to hold the conference in a different European country each year, preferably alternating between North, South, East and West Europe. Over twenty-five conferences have been held to date, in
over fifteen countries. The conference lasts for 2 days (Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning) during September or October.

# year city country date abstracts
30 2019 Riga Latvia 26 Sep - 28 Sep
29 2018 Budapest Hungary 04 Oct - 06 Oct view
28 2017 Lisbon Portugal 21 Sep - 23 Sep view
27 2016 Frankfurt Germany 22 Sep - 24 Sep view
26 2015 Glasgow Scotland 03 Sep - 05 Sep  
25 2014 Nantes France 21 Sep - 27 Sep  
24 2013 Stockholm Sweden 19 Sep - 21 Sep view
23 2012 Athens Greece 04 Oct - 06 Oct view
22 2011 Aarhus Denmark 22 Sep - 24 Sep view
21 2010 Dubrovnik Croatia 30 Sep - 02 Oct  
20 2009 Belfast Northern Ireland 24 Sep - 26 Sep  
19 2008 Budapest Hungary 02 Oct - 04 Oct view
18 2007 Krakow Poland 11 Oct - 13 Oct  
17 2006 Lisbon Portugal 21 Sep - 23 Sep view
16 2005 Manchester United Kingdom 27 Oct - 29 Oct  
15 2004 Munich Germany 14 Oct - 16 Oct view
14 2003 Ghent Belgium 02 Oct - 04 Oct view
13 2002 Helsinki Finland 26 Sep - 28 Sep view
12 2001 Venice Italy 04 Oct - 06 Oct  
11 2000 Dublin Ireland 21 Sep - 23 Sep  
10 1999 Vienna Austria 20 Sep - 22 Sep  
9 1998 Palma de Mallorca Spain 01 Oct - 03 Oct  
8 1997 Oslo Norway 25 Sep - 27 Sep  
7 1996 Amsterdam Netherlands 26 Sep - 28 Sep  
6 1995 Coimbra Portugal 22 Sep - 24 Sep  
5 1994 Snderborg Denmark 18 Sep - 20 Sep  
4 1993 Rome Italy 20 Sep - 22 Sep  
3 1992 Loughborough United Kingdom 28 Sep - 30 Sep  
2 1991 Lyon France 26 Sep - 29 Sep  
1 1990 Cologne Germany 27 Sep - 29 Sep  

Organisation of the annual conference is largely in the hands of a local team. The ESSD Board advises each year’s local organisers on the conference themes, selection of abstracts and the conference programme. Any ESSD member can volunteer to hold the conference by contacting an ESSD Board member and their request will be considered by the board.

ESSD has no funding for conferences. There is no registration fee for participants and the conference is organised on a voluntary basis by the local organiser and their institution. The local organisers’ tasks include acquiring any funds necessary for, for example, hire of the venue, refreshments and for printing the conference programme and abstract book.

The 'news and updates' section of this website gives details of each year's conference topics. While some issues presented and discussed at ESSD conferences have remained relevant since 1990, others have proved time-related and have not survived. What has not changed is the active involvement in the conferences of researchers from various disciplines, sharing a common interest in the social study of illicit drugs using mainly qualitative research methods. At each conference, an early career researcher award is given to the presenter judged by the ESSD Board to have given the best presentation.