An Interdisciplinary Perspective on Alcohol and Other Recreational Drugs


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An Interdisciplinary Perspective on Alcohol and Other Recreational Drugs

It is often assumed the term “drugs” refers only to illegal substances but this seminar focused on the comparison between alcohol, a legal and acceptable drug in modern society, and other social drugs, both legal and illegal. The rationale was that a balanced and encompassing view of illicit drugs can only be established if set in a context of their legal counterparts. This gathering was welcomed as an occasion to bring a rational debate to a subject that often elicits more emotion than understanding.

Biographies of the speakers and summaries of their talks can be downloaded:


Executive Summary by Amanda, Lady Neidpath – Director of the Beckley Foundation

Prof. David Nutt – Alcohol and the Brain
Prof. Leslie Iversen – Comparing Cannabis and Alcohol
Prof. Ian Gilmore – Alcohol and Physical Health – A Complex Equation
Prof. Colin Drummond – The Dangers of Alcohol and the Costs to the NHS
Prof. Jonathan Chick – Treatment Strategies and Individual Differences
Prof. Christine Godfrey – Economics of Alcohol Compared with Other Drugs
Prof. Virginia Berridge – Historical and Cultural Perspective: Why is Alcohol Legal and Other Drugs Not?
Hazel Blears MP – Towards a Pragmatic Policy
Mike Trace – Costs and Benefits of Alcohol and Drugs Policies
Professor Colin Blakemore – A Scientifically Based Scale of Harm for all Social Drugs



I. Speaker Biographies
II. Participants Attending Seminar III
III. The Beckley Foundation

Lord Wilson of Dinton & Sir Michael Rawlins

To download the complete Proceedings document on pdf format, please click here.

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