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HIT Hot Topics Conference


Sanho Tree

Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies
Sanho Tree is a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and has been director of its Drug Policy Project since 1998. The project works to end the domestic and international “War on Drugs” and replace it with policies that promote public health and safety. The project focuses on the attendant collateral damage caused by the drug war policies in the Philippines, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Mexico, Afghanistan and other countries while linking these policies back to the dysfunction of domestic politics and US foreign policy.

Katy MacLeod

Operations and Communications Director at Chill Welfare
Katy is the Founder and Director of Chill Welfare a 130+ volunteer led community interest company providing crisis intervention support around substance use and mental health at festivals across the UK and Ireland. This involves providing psychedelic care, harm reduction advice and supporting people who are experiencing acute mental health reactions.

Pavel Bém

Commissioner – Global Commission on Drug Policy
Dr. Pavel Bém is psychiatrist, psychotherapist and family therapist and has almost 30 years of experience in area of drug policy. He spent 20 years in various policy roles and high management functions at international, national as well as local levels focusing mainly at developing of cost effective public health strategies and harm reduction services. He has served for various governmental as well as international bodies (EU, UN, WHO, Council of Europe, Group Pompidou, PHARE).

Rui Coimbra Morais

President – CASO Drug Users Union
Rui used drugs since he was young and knows well about different contexts of drug use. He’s worked in a Roma social housing neighbourhood, in a foster care home, in a State National Program to end Child Labor. In 2011 he joined CASO and then EuroNPUD and has been working in Peer Involvement and Community based interventions, and advocating for full citizenship for drug users.

Biz Bliss

Lead Facilitator – Psychedelic Society Experience Retreats
Biz Bliss is a co-director and lead facilitator of the Psychedelic Society Experience Retreats, pioneering safe and legal psilocybin retreats since 2015. Guided by a desire to affect positive social change, Biz has worked in activist, corporate and social enterprise settings initiating a string of projects along the way. Through the process she’s found supporting people to do deep work is where her heart, skills and passion lie. Designing and guiding people through transformational processes feeds her soul, whilst growing the business satiates her mind. All in all, she has found a perfect job balancing the pragmatist and the mystic.

Nadia Hutten

PhD student – Department of Neuropsychology & Psychopharmacology at Maastricht University
Nadia Hutten is a PhD student at the Department of Neuropsychology & Psychopharmacology at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. Her main research topic is cognition enhancement with ‘illicit’ drug use.

Peter Blanken

Senior Researcher at the Parnassia Addiction Research Centre
Peter Blanken graduated as a social psychologist (MSc) and got his PhD at the medical faculty of the University of Amsterdam. He started his research at the Addiction Research Institute (IVO) in Rotterdam in 1987, doing multi-method (qualitative, ethnographic, and quantitative) field research in the natural context of drug users’ lives – mostly at drug dealing addresses and open drug scenes – on drug use patterns and their consequences.

Megan Jones

Policy Manager for West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner
Megan Jones is Policy Manager for the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, leading on criminal justice and substance misuse. The West Midlands drug policy recommendations have been praised by Government Ministers, Cross-Party Parliamentary Groups, national treatment agencies and senior police officers.

Prun Bijral

CGL Medical Director
Dr Prun Bijral is a consultant psychiatrist and Medical Director of change grow live (CGL), a health and social care charity in the UK. He trained as a medical doctor at both St. Andrews and Manchester Universities, then specialised in psychiatry and has worked in a medical leadership role for CGL since 2011, becoming Medical Director and Responsible Officer in 2015.

Amira Guirguis

MPharm Programme Director – Swansea University
Amira originally trained as an accountant before pursuing a career as a pharmacist. She gained her PhD in the in-field detection of New Psychoactive Substance (NPS) and led the first Home Office approved Drug Checking Service in the UK.

Mick Webb

Project Coordinator – CDF Bristol UK
Mick has been working with the mobilisation and development of drug user networks since 2006. He is currently the coordinator of a new network in his home city of Bristol (CDF Bristol UK).

Lizzie McCulloch

Volteface Director
Lizzie McCulloch
Liz is a Director at Volteface, a not-for-profit with a strong track record of shifting the public debate around drugs. Liz was a coordinator on the Billy Caldwell campaign, widely acclaimed for changing the law on medical cannabis.
More speakers will be announced as we get closer to the conference. Make sure to book your place early so you don’t miss out on this great conference.