to be launched in October

September 2016

A ground-breaking new website will be launched on Friday, 7th of October in Melbourne with the help of writer Kate Holden and harm reduction pioneer Jenny will be Australia’s first dedicated website presenting carefully researched personal stories of alcohol or other drug addiction, dependence or habit. The website’s aim is to generate and present much-needed new insights into the range of experiences that make up life for people with drug use experiences of this kind. How do people manage this aspect of their lives? What does drug use mean to them? How do they cope with the stigma associated with addiction? What challenges do they face and how do they cope and thrive? In addressing these questions, offers new perspectives on people often dismissed or stigmatised as dysfunctional, dangerous or sick.

Drawing on in-depth qualitative interviews, the website presents detailed life stories of people who consider themselves to have an addiction, dependence or drug habit. Also presented are key themes found in the interviews:

  • How alcohol and other drug use fits into everyday life
  • Coping with stigma and discrimination
  • Looking after health and well-being
  • Seeking help or initiating change


And much more. These themes are presented using video re-enactmentsoriginal audio recordings and written extracts from the interviews is based on an innovative ARC-funded research project conducted by:

Chief investigators

  • Professor Suzanne Fraser (NDRI, Curtin University)
  • Associate Professor Renata Kokanovic (School of Social Sciences, Monash University)
  • Professor David Moore (NDRI, Curtin University)
  • Professor Carla Treloar (Centre for Social Research in Health, University of New South Wales)

Partner investigator

  • Dr Adrian Dunlop (Hunter New England Local Health District)

Research staff

  • Dr Kiran Pienaar (NDRI, Curtin University)
  • Dr Ella Dilkes-Frayne (School of Social Sciences, Monash University)


Planned and designed with the help of a large national advisory panel, aims to support people who take drugs, inform the public about their many different life experiences, and act as an information and training resource for professionals.         

Lives of Substance will be launched on Friday 7th October, 5pm at theMonash University Law Chambers(555 Lonsdale St, Melbourne). The event will follow the Thinking ‘Addiction’ symposium, co-hosted by NDRI’s Social Studies of Addiction Concepts (SSAC) program and Monash University’s Faculty of Law.


Please RSVP soon as places are