ISSDP 2023 will be hosted by RAND Europe in Leuven, Belgium on 30 May – 1 June 2023
Conference registration is now closed.
For All Presenters: Information on Submission of Papers:
The deadline for paper submissions is now May 11th. Presenters are welcomed to make a paper or PowerPoint submission. Please send your submission to ISSDP23@randeurope.org.
Papers or PowerPoints submissions will be shared with panel moderators ahead of the conference to help guide discussion. Although presenters are sharing a copy of their presentation in advance, it is the responsibility of the presenter to bring a copy of their PowerPoint on a USB stick for presentation at the conference.
Book of Abstracts
About RAND Europe
RAND Europe is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan policy research organization that aims to improve evidence-based policy and decision making through high-quality research and analysis. With offices in Cambridge, and Brussels, the organization provides research services to governments, foundations, charities, universities and companies across the globe, with a particular geographical focus towards the institutions of the European Union, European states, and the United Kingdom. RAND Europe conducts research across a wide array of policy contexts and areas, including policing, criminal justice, education, drug policy, employment, population and migration, international development, health and wellbeing, defense and security, and scientific and technological innovation. The organization forms the European arm of the RAND Corporation, sharing its mission and values.
The Drug Policy Research Center (DPRC) at RAND Europe, uses innovative methods to offer evidence-based insights into the size and nature of online and offline illicit markets. Their research provides expert assessments on drug policy both nationally and internationally. For more information on drug policy research at RAND Europe please follow this link.
About KU Leuven
KU Leuven is a renowned university based in central Leuven, Belgium, with 12 satellite campuses across the country. Ranked as one of the top 100 universities in the world, the university has 60,000 students enrolled across 15 faculties and departments, and provides research and teaching in English and Dutch across 3 major thematic groups: Humanities and Social Sciences; Science, Engineering and Technology; and Biomedical Sciences. The university is known for its international research output, ranked consistently as one of the most innovative universities in the world. As Belgium’s oldest university, KU Leuven is further recognized for its unique Renaissance-style architectural beauty, with its oldest buildings – such as the University Hall – dating back over six centuries to 1317.
The central Belgian city of Leuven is known for its rich cultural heritage and gothic architecture, with its origins dating to the 9th century. Modest in size, the city is highly pedestrianized and locations in the city center –including two UNESCO world heritage sites – are walkable. With Leuven lying just 16 miles to the east of Brussels, the city is easily accessible by a 15-minute train ride from Brussels National Airport, which itself holds many direct international connections from other major cities across Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa. As a university city with a substantial student and researcher population, the city’s economy focuses on research, particularly in the areas of health, technology, and scientific innovation. Through its university city status and industrial foundations in brewing, Leuven additionally is known for having a vibrant evening atmosphere. The city is furthermore regarded as highly sustainable, winning the European Green Leaf award in 2018 and making landmark achievements and pledges towards environmentally sustainable growth and living.
Registration for presenters has now closed. Anyone interested in attending the conference is still encouraged to register. Registration for all guests will soon close.
The 2023 ISSDP Team is currently creating a preliminary program to share with presenters.
1. New evidence and insights about cannabis policy changes
E.g.: cannabis regulation developments; experiences of (new) policy implementation; effects of cannabis policy changes (including implications for illegal markets).
2. Transformations in illegal markets
E.g.: conflict zones as magnets for drug production; drug trafficking and organised crime; seaports as nodes for illegal drug trade; corruption and drug trafficking; the intersection between drug policies, policy reform and organised crime.
3. Regional drug policy changes and challenges
E.g.: the North American overdose crisis; tensions in contemporary Asian drug policy; cocaine markets, use and harms in Europe; synthetic drug production and consumption in the Middle East.
4. People who use drugs and the voices of lived experience in drug policy
E.g.: putting people who use drugs at the centre; reducing stigma and discrimination; human rights and drug policy; intersectional perspectives.
5. Drug policy making and the use of evidence
E.g.: role of the EU and Pompidou Group in European drug policy; opportunities for (evidence-informed) policy reform; policy making from global, regional, national to local; the history of prohibition.
6. Forward-looking drug policy issues
E.g.: psychedelics policy; environmental harms of drug policy and illicit markets; the role of new technologies; medical applications of prohibited substances; novel approaches to harm reduction, treatment and prevention; interventions aimed at reducing drug-related deaths.
7. New data and methodological advances
E.g.: innovations in data sources and analysis; experiences and challenges in monitoring drug policy changes and their impacts; anticipating plausible future trends and developments in drug markets and consumption; evidence assessment.
Quantitative or qualitative papers in other areas are also welcome. The terms ‘drugs’ should be interpreted broadly to include any intoxicating substance used recreationally or misused medically, as well as the diversion of legal chemicals used in the production of psychoactive substances.
Scientific Program Committee for the 2023 ISSDP Conference
We are pleased to announce the Scientific Program Committee for the 2023 ISSDP conference:
- Laura Atuesta, PhD, (CIDE Mexico, Mexico)
- David Décary-Hétu, PhD, (University of Montreal, Canada)
- David Hammond, PhD, (University of Waterloo, Canada)
- Brendan Hughes, LLM, (EMCDDA, Portugal)
- Marie Jauffret-Roustide, PhD, (French Institute of Health and Medical Research, France)
- Gideon Lasco, MD, PhD, (University of the Philippines Diliman, The Philippines)
- Simon Lenton, PhD, (Curtin University, Australia)
- Rosario Queirolo, PhD, (Catholic University of Uruguay, Uruguay)
- Alex Stevens, PhD, (Kent University, UK)
- Claudia Stoicescu, PhD, (Monash University Indonesia, Indonesia)
- Rosanna Smart, PhD, (RAND Corporation, USA)
- Margriet van Laar, PhD, (Trimbos Institute, The Netherlands)
- Mafalda Pardal, PhD, Research Leader, RAND Europe, and European lead for the RAND Drug Policy Research Center
- Stijn Hoorens, Office Director, RAND Europe Brussels, Senior Research Leader
- Emma Disley, PhD, Research Group Director, Home Affairs and Social Policy, RAND Europe
- Beau Kilmer, PhD, McCauley Chair in Drug Policy Innovation; Codirector, RAND Drug Policy Research Center; Senior Policy Researcher
- Letizia Paoli, PhD, Professor of Criminology, KU Leuven
Each day of the conference will take place at KU Leuven’s Maria Theresia College on Sint-Michielsstraat 6, 3000 Leuven. Classroom details will be shared with guests at registration.
For more information about the conference location and how to get there, please see the Leuven Practical Guide.
Catherine De Bolle
Catherine de Bolle is the Executive Director of Europol. Before taking up her post as Europol’s Executive Director in May 2018, Catherine De Bolle served as General Commissioner of the Belgian Federal Police from 2012. Prior to her appointment as Belgian Police Commissioner, Ms De Bolle was Chief of Police in Ninove. In January 2015, she has received the title of Public Manager of the year. From November 2015 until November 2018, she was a member of the Executive Committee of Interpol. Ms De Bolle studied law at Ghent University and then went on to graduate from the Royal Gendarmerie Academy in Belgium.
Professor Dr. Lieselot Bisschop is a professor of criminology at Erasmus School of Law. Her and her colleagues have been doing research in and around the port of Rotterdam and about the Dutch approach to organized drug crime since 2018. Her core areas of interest and expertise are environmental harm, corporate crime, organized crime and environmental governance. Some of her past and ongoing studies are focused on e-waste trafficking and planned obsolescence of electronics, wildlife, gold and timber trafficking, shipbreaking and coastal land loss.
Barbara Celis is a strategic analyst from Belgium. Educated at KU Leuven with a BA in Criminological Studies and an MA in Chinese Studies, Ms Celis began her career in strategic analysis with the Belgian Federal Police in 2002 before moving to Europol after a number of years. In 2015, she took a senior analyst position at the European Union Asylum Agency (EUAA). In 2020, she returned to Europol where she is now head of the strategic analysis team.
Tom Van Deun
Tom Van Deun started working at the prosecutor’s office in 2009. First as a jurist, then as a magistrate in training and in 2014 in an official capacity as prosecutor. After working on various types of cases ranging from theft to violent sexual crimes he switched to drugrelated crimes in 2014. This was around the start of the “War on drugs” in the city of Antwerp. At first he worked with the local police on cases of possession, dealing and plantations. He was also involved in developing a strategy to cope with dealers on festivals, notably Tomorrowland. In 2020 he became the lead prosecutor on cases of international drug trafficking. Since then he’s been working with the federal police, the federal maritime police and customs to combat international drug trafficking. In this capacity he also became one of the first prosecutors to work on case files that started from or were fed with information coming from the SKY ECC investigation.
Bob Keizer (1949, The Netherlands) is graduated in Medical Law. He has a long-term and comprehensive expertise in the drug policy field.
From 1992 till 2001 he was responsible for coordinating Dutch national drug policy, in his capacity as Head of the Drug Policy Division of the Ministry of Health, the coordinating Ministry.
From 1992-2004 he was the Dutch representative in the Pompidou Group, the oldest and biggest European Think Tank on Drugs (37 member countries), and between 2004-2007 he was the Executive Chairman of this group.
From 1994-2000 he was the Dutch representative in the Management Board of the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA, the EU drugs observatory).
From 2005-2020 he has worked as Senior Advisor at the Trimbos Institute, the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction. In this capacity he has been involved in many drug-policy related projects in Europe, North Africa, The Russian Federation, Turkey (policy analysis and evaluation; consultancy and training activities). From 2013-2020 he has participated in the Central Asia Drug Action Programme (CADAP, funded by the EU). Aim of this programme was assisting Kazakhstan, Kyrchystan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan) in development of national drug policies.
Gideon Lasco, MD, PhD is a physician, medical anthropologist, and drug policy scholar based in Manila, Philippines. He is senior lecturer at the University of the Philippines Diliman’s Department of Anthropology and research fellow at Hong Kong University’s Centre for Criminology. Since 2011, he has been doing ethnographic and qualitative research on drug issues in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, and has used his research and writing to critique and challenge the drug wars in his country and region. He is editor of Drugs and Philippines Society (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2021), an edited volume which features critical perspectives on drug use and drug policy in the country, and author of the Asia chapter in the 2020 and 2022 editions of the Global State of Harm Reduction.
Rien van der Steenoven
Mr. Rien van der Steenoven (Rotterdam 1958) is the Program Director of the Municipality of Rotterdam. His background as a city marine (directly working for the portfolio of the Mayor). First 9 years in the dynamics of City Centre (in which he transformed the city’s calling cards) and later 5 years in a large industrial area running a program to tackle subversive crime and redeveloping the area. Besides the “regular” portfolio’s Rien has had the honour to (crisis) manage a number of special projects such as founding a asylum seekers centre. In Covid building a temporary hospital and test and vaccination facilities. And latest finding, in the continuing demand, shelter for asylum seekers. Directly followed by finding shelter for refugees from Ukraine. These experiences together with a previous 30 year career within the police has led him to this prestigious role.
Hotels and accommodation
We offer several suggestions for conference participant accommodation with a discounted rate. These options can be found here: https://book.roomtrust.com/login/3720P6Nd7dK6JVxCN6qx4N623.
Rooms are not reserved in these hotels so please make your accommodations in advance. Participants are not required to utilize these suggestions, and it remains their responsibility to choose and book accommodation.
The reception for the 16th annual conference of the ISSDP will be hosted in Leuven’s landmark Town Hall on May 30th from 17:30-19:00. Participants will have the opportunity to enjoy snacks and drinks, and hear from Leuven’s Alderman of personnel, organization, city cleaning, student affairs and animal welfare, Mr. Thomas Van Oppens. Registration for the reception is free and is now possible through the registration link above.
Leuven’s remarkable town hall was constructed over 30 years in the mid-15th century and instantly recognizable for its Late Gothic architectural style. The Town Hall sits in the Grote Markt – Leuven’s main square – and is directly opposite Saint Peter’s Church. The Town Hall housed administrative bodies of Leuven until 2009 and is now primarily performing a ceremonial role in the city.
This year’s conference dinner will take place at De Hoorn in Leuven on May 31, 2023, from 19:00 to 22:00.
De Hoorn is located on Sluisstraat 79, 3000 Leuven, Belgium. This Leuven staple has a rich history dating back to the 18th century as the original brewer of Leuven’s Stella Artois beer. Today the original copper brewing kettles can be found in what is now a comfortable and trendy gathering space for meetings and large events.
A keynote lecture will be delivered during the dinner, concluding the second day of the 2023 ISSDP.
Leuven Practical Guide
Practical information for ISSDP 2023 conference participants.
Poster Session Guidelines
Please see the following page for the guidelines:
Oral Session Guidelines
Please see the following page for the guidelines:
Workshops for the ISSDP 2023 will take place from 14:00-17:00, on June 1st.
Four workshops will be offered:
- Methods Workshop: Advancements Using Difference-in-difference methods in drug policy evaluation
- Drug policy evaluation
- Expanding data sources for drug policy research: opening up monitoring data sets
- Connecting ISSDP/research to affected communities and marginalised groups
Please see the following page for more information: