Strategies for Overcoming Stigma: Addressing Substance Use Disorder in the United Kingdom

London, United Kingdom,
ISSUP UK Webinar

ISSUP UK cordially invites you to an upcoming webinar on Strategies for Overcoming Stigma.

Time: 2:00 PM London | 9:00 AM EST 

Register for the Webinar


The webinar presents three presentations from organisations working to challenge the stigma experienced by individuals who have, or have had a substance use disorder in the UK, followed by a chaired Q&A session to look at successful evidenced based strategies to tackle the issue, taking prepared questions as well as questions from the audience. 

  • How are drug treatment services in the UK challenging stigma among their own staff and other health professionals?
  • How do we convince the wider public to view this as a health issue rather than a criminal problem?
  • How do we engage those with lived experience to challenge the daily stigma they live with in a way that feels safe and non-judgemental?
  • What are the blocks and barriers to challenging stigma and is there any evidence to suggest potential strategies going forward? 

Intended audience:

  • Substance use professionals, members of ISSUP, Lived Experience Recovery Organisations and individuals associated with the addiction and recovery field.  

Learning outcomes:

  • Understand the impact of stigma on individuals with a substance use disorder in accessing treatment and wider health services. 

  • Recognise the need to challenge bad practice within both treatment services and the wider health sector. 

  • Analyse  strategies to challenge stigma for individuals with a substance use disorder in wider society. 


Karen Biggs, CEO of Phoenix Futures, and chair of the Anti-Stigma Network.  

Karen has been the Chief Executive since 2007. Her earlier career was in supported housing and homelessness. 
As Chief Executive, she is responsible for making sure Phoenix does what it says it will. She believes in the charity sector and its role in supporting people that the state can’t or won’t help. She is the trustee of a number of charities outside of Phoenix. 
She spends a lot of time thinking about leadership and how to make lovely environments for people to do difficult stuff in. In her downtime, she likes to grow stuff and make stuff and often turns to country music to make her heart sing. 

Chris Barnes, National Service User Involvement Lead for Change, Grow Live (Lived Experience Representative) 

With over five years of experience as the National Service User Involvement Lead at Change Grow Live, Chris applies health psychology principles and practices to enhance the well-being and recovery of service users. Change Grow Live is a leading charity that supports many people across society affected by substance use. 
His core competencies include systems thinking, service user involvement and undertaking quantitative/qualitative research to evidence-base the voices of people seldom heard. Chris is passionate about empowering people to have a voice and a choice in their own care, and collaborating with stakeholders across the health and social care system to improve the delivery and effectiveness of services.
He is also committed to advancing the field of health psychology through evidence-based practice, social justice, and professional development. Currently pursuing a professional Doctorate of Science in Health Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University, where he is conducting research on the impact of service user involvement to inform decision making. 

April Wareham, Founder and Director of Working with Everyone. (Living Experience Representative) 

April Wareham is Director at Working with Everyone, a collective of unique individuals who have both lived experience of social harms, as well as professional expertise. They work with marginalised communities and facilitate the NHS England forum Citizens on the Margins. April advocates for a system that sees people as whole people, and as part of communities, and lets them set their own priorities. 


Tim Sampey, Chief Executive, Build on Belief 

Tim has worked in service user involvement and peer-led services since 2005. He uses his lived experience to inform his work, as a previous Service User Co-ordinator for Kensington and Chelsea, and brief stints as both a Recovery Worker and a Drugs Awareness Tutor for Westminster Adult Education Authority. He is currently Chief Executive for Build on Belief and a steering group member for the College of Lived Experience Recovery Organisations (CLERO). He is passionate about embedding the voice of lived experience in the wider treatment system and developing peer-led projects in partnership with that system to improve the health and wellbeing of people struggling with a substance use disorder. 



Webinars and online events delivered and hosted by the International Society of Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP) are provided for informational purposes only. They are educational in nature and do not constitute medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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