Call for Abstracts for CDAR

From member: Bia Labate


Dear researcher, 

We are delighted to offer you the opportunity to submit a review about your psychedelic interests for publication in “Current Drug Abuse Reviews (CDAR)”. The OPEN Foundation have found Ruud Kortekaas, PhD willing to be guest editor for a special issue entitled “Potential merits of the psychedelic experience – with a special focus on addiction”. We strongly welcome authors to write a review that fits in this thematic issue. 

This journal is indexed in: Chemical Abstracts, Google, Google Scholar, Genamics JournalSeek, MediaFinder, Standard Periodical Directory, Scopus, EMCare, EMBASE, MEDLINE, but does not have an impact factor according to ISI. In 2010, the articles were cited 2.9 times on average. See: , where you can also find publication guidelines. 

Regular publishing is free of charge, but open access publishing will cost you or your institution a publication fee, to be announced later.

If you are interested in contributing, please send us a preliminary title and an estimated number of words (minimum 3000, maximum 40.000), before July 15th. As we are aiming to publish this special issue this year, we hope that you can deliver the full text before August 31st, so there will be some time for peer-review and revision. If you have any questions and/or doubts, please feel free to contact us.

Kind regards,

Pieter Stokkink
OPEN Foundation

2014 Graduate Student Paper Prize


Deadline: September 26, 2014 @ 5pm

The Alcohol, Drug, and Tobacco Study Group (ADTSG) of the Society for Medical Anthropology requests submissions for the best graduate student paper in the anthropology of alcohol, drugs, tobacco or similar substances. Qualifying submissions will be judged by a committee of ADTSG members.  The author of the winning paper will receive a cash award of $100 and her or his name will be announced in Anthropology News and at the Society for Medical Anthropology awards ceremony at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting in November. Submissions from all anthropological sub-disciplines are encouraged.


  • No more than 9,000 words
  • Must be based on original fieldwork and data
  • Must have been written in the past 12 months
  • Primary or first author must be a graduate student
  • Must be unpublished at the time of submission


  • Originality of fieldwork and data
  • Richness of substantive or evidentiary materials
  • Clarity of anthropological methods
  • Linkage of work to anthropological literature
  • Effective use of theory and data
  • Organization, quality of writing, and coherence of argument
  • Contributions to anthropology of alcohol, drugs, tobacco or similar substances


  • Please do not include your name or any identifying information in the paper itself
  • Papers must be double spaced and in PDF format (please include page numbers)
  • References should be formatted in the American Anthropologist style
  • Please submit an electronic copy to Tazin Karim, chair of ADTSG at
  • Submissions must be received by 5:00PM EST, September 26, 2014 for full consideration

Questions may be directed to Tazin Karim at the above email address. We look forward to your submissions!

ADTSG at 2014 SFAA meetings in Albuquerque

2014logoSfAA is happening soon in New Mexico, and ADTSG will be there! The theme of the 2014 meeting is “Destinations.” The following are some highlights of presentations on alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. For full listings, check out the final program.

ADTSG Business Meeting
Thursday March 20 @ 7:00-8:00pm in Alvarado B
We will be talking about ongoing projects as well as finalizing plans for AAA 2014 in D.C. Please invite your students and colleagues to attend. We will also plan on going out afterward for food/drinks – information about the location will be posted on the site and on twitter under  #ADTSG.

ADTSG PANEL: Silk Roads: Place and Space in Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Use (SMA)
Wednesday March 19 @ 3:30-5:20pm in Alvarado F (W-126)

  1. Shared Walls, Shared Air: Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing Policy Implementation“ -Roland Moore, Valerie Yerger, Robynn Battle, Julie Jackson, LaTrena Robinson
  2. Sin Cities of the North: Alcohol in the Regional Hubs of Alaska“ - Kristen Oglivie
  3. #Adderall: Constructions of Prescription Drug Use in Digital Spaces” – Tazin Karim
  4. Negotiating Risk, Supplementing Safety: Online Discussions about Pre-and Post-loading on” – Stephan Risi
  5. Spice: A Thrice-told Tale” - Juliet Lee
  6. Disussant - Jean Schensul

PANEL: Ethnographic Approaches to Addictions and Substance Abuse
Wednesday March 19 @ 5:30-7:20pm in Turquoise (W-162)

  1.  ”Assessing Consequences of Hidden Addictions: Ethnography as Core Method” – Joseph Westermeyer
  2. Pathways to Addiction: Drug Use among Adolescents in Popayan, Colombia” - Sarah Fishleder and Daniel Lende
  3. Implementing T4 Translational Science in a Tobacco Control Project in Ladakh, India” – Lukas Slipski, Anisha Gundewar, and Lily Martyn
  4. Changing Gender Roles for Young Adult Women in Ladakh and Heightened Risk for Tobacco Addiction” – Yitong Gao, Emma Caldwell, Karishma Dara, Anupa Gewali and Cindi Lewis
  5. State Policies and Street Drug Choices: Patterns of Opioid Use in the Aftermath of Changes in OxyContin Availability” - J. Bryan Page and David Forrest
  6. “Under the Influence and Under Arrest: How Alcohol, Drugs, and Violence Impact Arrests on a College Campus” - Richard Colon and Alexandra Itri
  7. Smoking, Chewing, and Dipping: Tobacco Use at a Rural Serving U.S.-Mexico Border University” – Chris Spurny, Melinda J. Wilson, Candyce Luna, Susan Wilson and Cynthia kratze

Presentations on Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco Issues

  • Destination Local: Collaborating with Ukrainian NGOs to Develop Effective, Evidence-Based HIV Prevention Programs for Drug Users” – Sarah Phillips, Jill Owczarak, and Olga Filippova (W-67)
  • Urban Ethnic Segregation and the US Heroin Market: A Quantitative Model of Anthropological Hypotheses ” - Dan Ciccarone, Philippe Bourgois, Fernando Montero Castrillo, George Karandinos, Daniel Rosenblum, and Sarah Mars (W-71)
  • A Summer Participatory Research Project for Asian American and Pacific Islander Students: Experience of Stress and Drug Use” - JiangHong Li, Irene Shaver, Jennifer Zhu, Darius Mostaghimi, Angel Wu and Victoria Xie (W-160)
  • Algorithms and Ethnography: Locating the Content of Agent-based Models in Fieldwork” – Lee Hoffer (TH-03)
  • “Drug and Alcohol Treatment Programs for American Indian Youth: Prioritizing Culture & Community Values” – Kehli Henry (poster)
  • Mothers, Lovers, and Addicts: The Role of Interpersonal Violence in Incarcerated Women’s Paths To Recovery” – Catherine Fuentes (Th-131)
  • Can You Help Us Stop Using Drugs?: Collaborating with an NGO in Health Education and Research with People Who Inject Drugs in Kenya” - Jennifer Syversten (F-71)
  • Constructing Harm Reduction as Global “Strategy”: Impacts on Intervention” – Shana Harris (S-126)

Presentations by ADTSG members and colleagues

  • Catie Willging (T-01) Developing a Peer-Based Mental Health Intervention for Sexual and Gender Minorities in Rural New Mexico and T-153 Behavioral Healthcare in New Mexico: Where Are We Now? Where Are We Going?
  • Kitty Corbett (W-02) Technology as a Conduit: Engaging Place and Environment in Experiences of Health [SMA])
  • Peter Kunstadter (T-91) From Community to Academia and Return: Pipelines Run in Both Directions to Reduce Ethnic and Socioeconomic Disparities in the Health Professions)
  • Michael Agar (T-95) Water Sharing and Water Shortage in New Mexico)
  • Suzanne Heurtin-Roberts (F-11) and Applying Anthropology in Implementation Science to Improve Healthcare and Health)
  • Victor Garcia (F-31) Applied Anthropology, Praxis, and Student Research)
  • Linda Bennett (S-04) Evaluating the Effectiveness of COPAA and CoPAPIA Tenure and Promotion Initiatives on Applied, Practicing, Engaged, and Public Anthropology).

Did we miss your panel? Think someone should be added to the list? Send us an email at and we’ll update the list. Until then… see you in the land of enchantment!

Juliet Lee and Taz Karim

CFP: Professional Perspectives in the Anthropology of Drugs

Panel at 2014 AAA Conference — December 3-7 in Washington, D.C.
Professional Perspectives in the Anthropology of Drugs

Shana Harris (National Development and Research Institutes) -
Tazin Karim (Michigan State University) –

Research in the anthropology of drugs has focused on the users or consumers of alcohol, tobacco, and other substances.  Such analyses have produced volumes on the experience of drug use — practices, behaviors, transactions, and relationships — from the perspective of the drug user.  Often as responses to critical circumstances, these studies have illuminated the intricacies of major health epidemics, drug distribution and redistribution, and other drug-related phenomena.  They have made important contributions to drug treatment, prevention, policy, and the general advancement of knowledge. The impact of this work is and continues to be unquestionable, both academically and practically.  Nevertheless, this literature has historically overshadowed the equally valuable and often underrepresented experiences of those who provide care and treatment, implement prevention interventions, and campaign for drug policy reform.  Accordingly, we ask: Where are the perspectives of professionals in the anthropology of drugs?

This panel addresses this dearth in the anthropology of drugs by taking professionals as its analytic focus.  It examines the role of these individuals in attending to and — in some cases — contributing to drug use, abuse, policy, and related issues.  Such professionals work in a variety of contexts, including clinics, pharmacies, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the streets. They are purveyors of services, sources of substances, architects of policies and laws, and producers of knowledge.  Drawing on research from both the global north and the global south, panelists present research that draws critical attention to the central position that professionals play in drug worlds.  Not only do they challenge the marginal positionality of the professional in drug studies, they illustrate the importance of turning our ethnographic gaze to those on the delivery rather than receiving end of interventions, care, and policies.  By paying attention to the work of these professionals, we as anthropologists can enrich our understanding of all things drugs.  Thus, this panel seeks to contribute to a more complete — and even a more productive — anthropology of drugs.

We invite abstracts for papers that ethnographically explore the perspectives, experiences, behaviors, and role of professionals in contexts of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco use, abuse, treatment, intervention, and policy.  Please submit an abstract (250 words max.) to the panel organizers by SUNDAY, MARCH 23, for consideration.

Historic 2nd Intl Congress: Sacred Plants, Culture & Human Rights

“Sacred Plants, Culture, and Human Rights”


A historic event will take place on April 3rd – 5th, 2014 at the Autonomous University of Toluca, Mexico that will unite prominent scientists, academics, and leaders from dozens of indigenous nations to present recent breakthrough research and public policy briefings concerning the use of “Sacred Plants” for therapeutic purposes. What is the future for indigenous healing traditions in Mexico and the American continent? How can they contribute to public health? Could we ever hope to see the application of these empirical healing approaches applied within a legitimized framework that provides both safety and accessibility for people seeking the sacred plants for their therapeutic and psycho-spiritual effects?

The Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico (UAEM) and the Department of Anthropology, in collaboration with the Multidisciplinary Association for the Preservation of Indigenous Traditions of Sacred Plants, Nierika A.C, are bringing this dialogue to the forefront of public opinion in Mexico. The intended outcomes of the congress are as follows:

  1. To present comprehensive scientific research on the therapeutic use of sacred plants that can serve as a foundation for policy review and as a basis for proposing the regulated medical and cultural use of these medicines in Mexico;
  2. To increase multidisciplinary dialogue between scientists and traditional indigenous doctors and promote the integration of Western science and traditional indigenous medicine;

For more info on the 2nd International Congress for Traditional Medicine & Public Health, including information on our CALL FOR CONFERENCE PAPERS,  please visit the website:  or email:

via: Bia Labate

Book Announcement: The Therapeutic Use of Ayahuasca

ADTSG is happy to announce the release of “The Therapeutic Use of Ayahuasca” - Beatriz Caiuby Labate and Clancy Cavnar (Eds.)

This book presents a series of perspectives on the therapeutic potential of the ritual and clinical use of the Amazonian hallucinogenic brew ayahuasca in the treatment and management of various diseases and ailments, especially its role in psychological well-being and substance dependence. Biomedical and anthropological data on the use of ayahuasca for treating depression, PTSD, and substance dependence in different settings, such as indigenous contexts, neo-shamanic rituals, contemporary therapeutic circles, and in ayahuasca religions, in both South and North America, are presented and critiqued. Though multiple anecdotal reports on the therapeutic use of ayahuasca exist, there has been no systematic and dense reflection on the topic thus far. The book brings the therapeutic use of ayahuasca to a new level of public examination and academic debate. The texts in this volume stimulate discussion on methodological, ethical, and political aspects of research and will enhance the development of this emergent field of studies.
For a preview of the book please click here.

For more information on the book, please visit the Springer website.

via: Bia Labate

2013 ADTSG Recap

Dear ADTSG members,goodbye 2013

It is the end of January and I think it is finally safe to say that 2013 was a successful year for ADTSG. The website has been on a bit of a hiatus over the last few months since the AAA meetings due to final exams and the holidays, but we hope to be able to start updating more often. In this post, I want to recap on a few points from the AAA meetings and solicit some suggestions/help from our membership moving forward in in the new year.

AAA Roundtable: In 2012, ADTSG put out what must have been a record number of panels for the AAA meetings with excellent attendance. This year, we decided to try something different and organized a roundtable on public engagement with some of our very own experts in the field of drug studies: Helena Hansen, Mimi Nichter, Bryan Page, Will Garriott, Daniel Lende. Despite the Wednesday evening time slot, it was well attended and we generated some great questions for our participants both before the session and during the Q&A period. Thanks so much to everyone who made it out, and a special thanks to our participants, our moderator Roland Moore, as well as Shana Harris (and myself) for organizing this event. We are in the process of writing a round table review so look for that in the near future.

Communications: Once again, ADTSG made a strong impression during the SIG chairs meeting with new SMA president, Linda Garro. We continue to be at the forefront of leveraging digital technology, increasing visibility and growing our membership – but there is always room for improvement. In particular, we are interested in increasing our social media presence and determining the best way to facilitate discussions/collaboration among group members. Although this blog has been a great way for us to reach our membership, we are ready to explore new mechanisms to stimulate conversation between conferences. Part of addressing this might include developing a communications subcommittee who can brainstorm and implement such a plan of action. If you have any ideas or would like to spearhead something like this, please email me at

SMA Takes a Stand: As we discussed last year, the SMA is requesting all SIGs to create a public policy statement as part of the SMA Takes a Stand Program. We have tentatively selected the issue of the decriminalization/legalization of Marijuana. Bryan Page has agreed to take lead on this project but we would like to recruit at least 3-4 more members to help draft this statement. If you are interested in being involved in the process, please send me an email and I will put you all in touch.

AAA 2014 events: During the ADTSG business meeting, we began brainstorming ideas for AAA 2014. Some potential events included:

  • Organizing a poster session on the Anthropology of Drugs and public engagement (with contributions from graduate and undergraduate students)
  • A panel focusing on the role of professionals in the treatment of drug use
  • A panel or roundtable looking on how other fields are examining ADT issues and inviting experts already located in the D.C. area
  • A panel or posters examining ADT issues from across the four subfields of Anthropology
  • Teaming up with some of the other AAA sections/groups like the Society for Psychological Anthropology, the Association for Politial and Legal Anthropology to co-sponsor an event

If you are interested in any or all of these proposals, or would like to help organize an event for the 2014 AAA, please contact me ASAP. It would be great to see a number of these come to fruition but we need your help to make it happen!

Graduate Student Paper Prize: Finally, we had a wonderful response to our annual graduate student paper prize this year. Our winner was Nayantara Sheoran for her paper, “Stratified Contraception: Imagined Cosmopolitanism versus Lived Tangibility of Emergency Contraceptive Pills in Contemporary India”. Our honorable mention was Marc Blainey for his paper, “Forbidden Therapy: Santo Daime & the Disputed Status of Entheogens in Western Society”. Thanks to Roland Moore, Shana Harris and Lee Hoffer for their hard work reading and offering feedback on these fantastic papers. We plan to offer this prize again this year so if you are interested in serving as a judge, please contact me for details.

As I close this post, I realize that there is a lot to be proud of – but there is even more we can do to make the most out of the networks and resources provided by this study group. In the coming weeks, I will be sending out some  systematic requests to the group for help on these and other projects. Also, if you have any announcements you would like us to post, please send them to the gmail account. Thanks again for your continued engagement with ADTSG – I look forward to hearing from you and exploring new ways to improve your member experience.

Taz Karim

Complexity at the CDP Conference

Complexity: Researching alcohol and other drugs in a multiple world

Contemporary Drug Problems Conference

Aarhus University, Denmark

21-23 August 2013

The title says it all. This past August, researchers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs came together in Denmark for an exciting international and interdisciplinary conference. The conference theme – complexity – was met on several levels. Researchers came from multiple disciplines, multiple institutions, and multiple home countries to consider complexity not only in the experiences and contexts of drug users or in societal, institutional, and psychological constructions of addiction, but to critically examine the translatability of “complexity” to a variety of intervention and outreach settings, the challenges associated with funding research projects steeped in the very notion of “complexity,” and the increasingly complex research methodologies that may ultimately be necessary to effectively elucidate it. I was honored to attend and even more honored to present a paper at this conference; it’s left me inspired for collaboration and excited to get started on future research projects!

Though the conference was small enough that a junior scholar like myself had the chance to talk one-on-one and at length with the likes of Lisa Maher, Nancy Campbell, David Moore and many others, it was big enough that I was unable to attend every paper. So, you can see the full conference program and abstracts here, but I’ll use this blog space to think a bit about the broader theme of complexity and why this theme is especially relevant to the anthropology of drugs.

The conference’s keynote speakers laid the foundation for the conference: Nancy Campbell pointed out that most intervention professionals and funders simply don’t want or know how to navigate the multitude of unknown and unpredictable accompaniments to complexity but noted that academics are increasingly looking for ways to apply interdisciplinary collaborations to meet these challenges; Lisa Maher asked, “What do we sacrifice in trying to reduce findings to translatable forms accessible by policy and intervention professionals?” and highlighted the need for research approaches that truly integrate methodologies toward the end of understanding complexity; and Kane Race applied the frame of emergent causation to dispute the common trend in clinical, epidemiological, and health evaluation research of treating drug use, drug experiences, and addiction, as resulting from linear pathways.

As a discipline, anthropology is poised to address many of these challenges. Its very strength can be found in its holism and abundance of tools – both methodlogical and theoretical – for illuminating multiple levels, for situating subjective experience and individual practice in many overlapping and intersecting contexts. In fact, many anthropologists who study the use of drugs, both licit and illicit, already use the best of the discipline to explore the experiences, behaviors, and subjectivities of users. One could argue that it is an anthropological approach that has brought much drug research forward to where it is today. For decades, medical anthropologists have found themselves a sole social scientist in a medical school or department full of psychiatrists, and, historically, our discipline has been met with resistance. However, as an interdisciplinary researcher, I find that the ethnographic approach is increasingly appreciated by the epidemiologists and sociologists I encounter on a regular basis. Nancy Campbell pointed out that more and more neurologists and other “hard” scientists actively seek to engage with social scientists in order to better understand why our brains respond the way they do, what this looks like in context, and what can be done about it. Accomplished ethnographers such as Lisa Maher and Lee Hoffer find themselves working with mathematical modelers in an effort to achieve both thick description and greater generalizability. Steve Koester works with pharmacologist and biologist, Robert Heimer, to explore the actual risk behind injection drug users’ risk practices (observed in ethnographic context) by conducting controlled experiments in the lab.

This type of work may be the way forward for the study of drugs, and anthropologists may be uniquely prepared to engage in it. The Contemporary Drug Problems conference that inspired this post highlighted the importance of international and interdisciplinary conversations and the need to acknowledge and manage complexity rather than hide behind or ignore it. For decades, our own discipline has grappled with the challenge of balancing intimate knowledge of individuals’ subjectivities and experiences with the situated complexity of the multi-level contexts in which they manifest. As such, our answers may not be simple; they will likely be very complex. Perhaps through continued engagement with researchers and activists outside of anthropology, we can work together to address complex realities with practical solutions.

Social gathering at the AAA meetings in Chicago

Dear ADTSGers,

T-minus two hours and fifty minutes until our highly anticipated roundtable:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013: 8:00 PM-9:45 PM
Grand Tradition (Chicago Hilton)

Please join us afterwards at George’s Cocktail Lounge located at 646 S Wabash Ave. We will be congregating in the lobby of the Hilton at 10pm to walk down together. Otherwise, we hope to see you there!

george's cocktail

George's cocktail lounge






As posted on YELP: The sign says it all!


2013 AAA Meetings in Chicago

Dear ADTSG members,

Its that time of year again and we are gearing up for the American Anthropological Association Meetings in Chicago. This year, we have put together a fantastic roundtable examining issues of public engagement in the Anthropology of alcohol, drugs and tobacco. It will take place on Wednesday evening, from 8:00 – 9:45 pm in the Chicago Hilton: Grand Tradition Room.


Our panelists include:

  • William Garriott (Drake University)
  • Helena Hansen (Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research)
  • Daniel Lende (University of South Florida)
  • Mark Nichter (University of Arizona)
  • Mimi Nichter (University of Arizona)
  • J. Bryan Page (University of Miami)

Roland Moore (Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation) will be serving as moderator. We are still accepting questions in advance for the panelists (email to , but you will also have an opportunity to fill out question cards during the roundtable, as well as send in questions via twitter to the hashtag #ADTSG in real time. We envision this as a very open, lively conversation.

Afterwards, we invite you to join us for a social gathering to kick off the AAAs before the bars and restaurants get too crowded. We will be meeting in the lobby of the Chicago Hilton at 10 pm to venture together to a location that is to be determined. We will make sure to announce the location on our website and on twitter (@PharmaCulture) for those of you unable to attend the round table.

Our final event is our annual business meeting on Saturday evening, from 6:00 – 7:45 pm in the Chicago Hilton, McCormick Board Room. We will be discussing our progress over the last year and making plans for 2014. If you have never been to one of our meetings, we encourage you to attend! For more information about ADTSG at the AAA, visit our conferences page.


Taz Karim, Chair