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The NHS APA invites you to join us at our free and virtual conference on Tuesday 28th of November 2023.

Join us for our free virtual conference, "Living the Stigma: Understanding Addiction & Overcoming Prejudice."


As we build upon the success of our previous online events, we aim to spotlight the impact of stigma against people who experience addiction and offer strategies for overcoming it through education and policy change.

Our conference will centre the voices of lived experience and address:

  • How we can truly understand the impacts of addiction and the subsequent stigma faced;

  • How we can educate ourselves and others on issues related to stigma;

  • Strategies for overcoming prejudice and stigma against people who experience addiction.


Acting together with purpose, we challenge and break down the stigma surrounding addiction, by learning from the experiences of those who face it.

​This event will be provided online and for free for all delegates. Register your place today.

We look forward to you joining us on the 28th of November 2023.

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NHS APA 2023
Annual Conference

Living the Stigma:
Understanding Addiction & Overcoming Prejudice
Tuesday 28th November 2023

9.30 am to 4.00 pm

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Dan Carden MP

Liverpool Walton - Chair of Drugs, Alcohol & Justice APPG, Vice-Chair of Alcohol Harm APPG and member of the Children of Alcoholics APPG.  

Claire Murdoch CBE

National Mental Health Director,

NHS England

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Adam Holland

Public Health Consultant and Clinical Academic.

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Lucy Rocca

Founder of

Panel Q&A (AM)

Panel Q&A with Mike Hardy, Dot Smith, Jon Findlay and Dr Emily Finch.

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Prof. John Kelly

Elizabeth R. Spallin Professor of Psychiatry in Addiction Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Panel Q&A (PM)

Panel Q&A with Paul Evans, Matt Gaskell and James Grimes.

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James Grimes

Head of Education and The Big Step at Gambling With Lives.

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Dr Matt Gaskell

Consultant Psychologist and the Clinical Lead of the NHS Northern Gambling Service.

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Stuart Green

NHS Service Manager for Aspire.

Jo Huey

Inspirational Speaker

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Jon Findlay

National Harm Reduction Lead for Humankind

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On Demand Content

Watch on demand content from Aunee Bhogaita, Stephanie Fincham-Campbell, Mike Hardy, Maddie Kitchen, Inclusion and Aspire.

Digital Exhibition

Use the breaks between sessions to view our digital exhibition submissions.

sponsorship opportunities

Sponsorship opportunities

For this year's annual conference, which is focusing on stigma, we are anticipating between 700 and 1,000 delegates attending from all across the UK and internationally.
Previous NHS APA conferences have attracted Directors of Public Health, Substance Misuse workers, Public Health Commissioners, ICS/PCN (previously CCG) Leads, Drug & Alcohol Recovery Managers, Directors of Operations, Senior Managers & Decision Makers, Partnership Coordinators, Behaviour Support Managers, Academics, Health Sectors, Local Authorities, Voluntary Sector, Treatment Funders, Researchers and Policy Makers. 

To see previous year’s events, please visit our 2022 conference page.

If you are interested in sponsoring this event, there are multiple levels of sponsorship available. Depending on the package you choose, you may also have a dedicated sponsor page that is linked to the main conference page, alongside multiple other features to ensure the prominence of your company name or product. This year, our package 4 sponsorship offers a presentation or opportunity to connect during lunch at the annual APA Away Day. 


For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please download our sponsorship booklet and contact us with any further enquiries.


Please note: The NHS APA is a not-for-profit organisation and operates a fair policy with regard to sponsorship. Organisations wishing to sponsor the conference will be reviewed and assessed in terms of the NHS APA’s ethical guidelines and standards prior to sponsorship being agreed upon.

Exhibiton opportunities

virtual exhibition

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This year our conference will include a digital exhibition for showcasing a campaign paper or body of research. This is an excellent opportunity to disseminate your research with an audience of 700-1,000 delegates working within the drug and alcohol treatment sector- you will also be able to provide a short summary of your research and contact details for any follow-up enquiries which are generated from the exhibition.

The deadline for applying to be an exhibitor has now closed.

Everyone knows someone who has experienced addiction at some point in their lives, from substance misuse to gambling or gaming addiction. 

Our #StigmaKills campaign aims to highlight the damaging effects of stigmatising language and attitudes to those who experience addiction. It asks for all of us as individuals to look beyond the addiction and to see the person behind it and hear their story. It also aims to break down the myths and misconceptions around addiction demonstrating it is both a mental and physical health condition and not a person's choice. 


Look back at 2021

Last year's conference focused on how we can tackle stigma in action through increased visibility and education, and more inclusive language. Speakers and topics included:

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tackling gambling stigma

recovery communities

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impact of stigma and trauma on people who use drugs

stigma and the media

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visibility, education and language

To watch all of the sessions on-demand, click the button below.

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