skip to Main Content

Drugs, Stigma and the Media

Dr. Liam Engel, Adjunct Research Fellow at Edith Cowan University
Judy Ryan, North Richmond resident and community activist

Yarra Drug & Health Forum invite you to our interactive community forum, this month focused on stigma and discrimination experienced by people who use drugs. Several guests will be speaking to us about their expertise and experience around this issue, in particular the role of mainstream media reporting and its effect on the popular discourse

Liam’s expertise encompasses harm reduction, prejudice, policy, digital sociology, ethnobotany and ethnopharmacology. He is a reviewer and contributor to the AODMediaWatch project, which aims to highlight poor examples of journalism regarding AOD-related issues in the hope that we can assist journalists to report more objectively using science and evidence rather than perpetuating myths, opinions and moral panic.

We believe that these publications are responsible for perpetuating a culture of stigma and intense scrutiny, which has been shown to exacerbate drug-related harms. The publications are therefore creating the conditions for the very thing they purport to be so offended by.

Dr. Stephen Bright & Dr. Liam Engel, ‘Pot Paparazzi: Shame, stigma and repetition gets Queensland print media through slow news days’,, 15/02/21

Judy is the secretary for the Residents for Victoria Street Drug Solutions, which campaigned heavily for the introduction of MSIR in the Richmond area on the leadup to the 2016 election, and provides on-going support of the initiative.

Back To Top