Regulation of pleasure


Wednesday 13 July 2016

Half Day

Venue Royal Society of Medicine
1 Wimpole Street
Organised by

Pharmaceutical Medicine & Research Section


CPD - Applied for

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about this event

Is the government’s current regulatory approach to addiction still adequate or have they gone too far in the regulation of pleasure?

Attitudes towards pleasure-seeking behaviour – such as nicotine, drugs and alcohol – vary widely across society. Yet with this comes an element of risk, which can manifest in ways such as violent physical responses or dangerous liaisons. And when it comes to recreational intoxication, rationality is no longer the predominant determinant of human behaviour.

To combat this, the state has established regulatory systems, but these can be expensive and may often prove highly unsatisfactory.

This meeting will focus on the governance of ‘pleasure’. Featuring experts in the fields of addiction, regulation, sociology, policy-making and consumption, they will debate whether the current regulatory systems are still adequate in today’s society.

Find out if public health agencies have advocated the risks associated with addiction by providing information on the assumption that consumers are rational, free agents. Plus as we move away from the moral impulse of the late Victorian era on which many of our current regulative regimes are based, where should the responsibility of regulating addiction be located?

And can new arrangements that empower communities become effective or do they run the risk of being taken over by sectarian interests or commercial pressures?

We are grateful to the National Center for Public Policy Research for supporting this meeting




1.30 pm

Registration, tea and coffee

2.00 pm

Welcome and introduction

2.05 pm

Regulation of pleasure: Setting the scene

Dr Axel Klein, Editor, Drug and Alcohol Today

2.20 pm

Assuming responsibility - organising drug markets after prohibition

Mr Danny Kushlick, Head of External Affairs, Transform

2.40 pm

Harm reduction works best when the alternatives are pleasurable.

Dr Chris Russell, Behavioural Psychologist and Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Substance Use Research

3.00 pm

My relationship with nicotine

Lorien Jollye, Consumer Advocate

3.20 pm

Tea and coffee break

3.40 pm

Optional session - Regulating consumption and pleasure: Every Nanny Stater's Game Plan

Mr Jeff Stier, Senior Fellow, National Center for Public Policy Research, USA

4.00 pm

Regulating pleasure in the online world

Lord Merlin Hay, Earl of Erroll, House of Lords

4.20 pm

Panel discussion

All speakers

5.00 pm

Completion of evaluation forms

5.05 pm

Close of meeting followed by a drinks reception

register for this event

  • Online registration is closed but places are available on the day
  • RSM member rates start at £10
  • Non member rates start at £15


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organiser's details

For information on this event, contact Beth CrabbTel: 02072903948 Email: arrow