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This Constitution was drawn up in the spring of 2017 to bring the ADHS up to date with current patterns of activity and practice, reflecting changes in communications and technology, the number of persons involved and greater international co-operation.

This Constitution amended and ratified at the General Meeting during the Society’s biennial conference in Utrecht, 24 June 2017, and again at the General Meeting on 30 July 2021.

Please select the links below to jump to a specific section on the page or scroll further below to review the Constitution from start to finish.

  1. Society

  2. Membership

  3. Officers

  4. Board of Directors

  5. General Meeting

  6. Constitution


The name of this organization shall be the Alcohol and Drugs History Society (ADHS).

The aims of the ADHS are to advance, support and encourage the study of any aspect of alcohol and drug use or policy in any society or era and to enhance public awareness of the history of alcohol and drugs both licit and illicit.

In furtherance of the above aims the ADHS:

  • shall publish an associated journal, The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs

  • shall sponsor events including a biennial conference.

  • shall encourage online exchange, dissemination and discussion, primarily through its website, its blog and other digital platforms.


Membership shall be open to any individual or institution that shares the Society’s aims upon payment a subscription fee. Subscription fees for individual members shall be biennial.

Both individual and institutional members receive the journal The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs.

Individuals receive reduced conference fees at the ADHS biennial conference.


The Officers of the ADHS shall be: the President; the Vice President; the past President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Media Officer and the Editor-in-Chief(s) of the SHAD.

Only one office may be held by a member at any one time.

  • The President shall be elected by the General Meeting (GM) for a term of two years, renewable once by agreement with the Executive Committee (EC) and will encompass at least one biennial conference. The President shall be nominated by the Executive Committee of ADHS and elected at the GM.  The President conducts the Society’s business, convenes the GM, presides over the Board of Directors, and serves as the ADHS spokesperson, corresponding with outside bodies on the behalf of the Society. The President also ensures that a local organizing committee is set up to organize the biennial conference and shall chair the GM and report on the Society’s activities.  The immediate past president shall be ex officio a member of the Executive Committee for at least a one-year period.

  • The Vice President shall be a President-in-waiting and therefore must be elected at a General Meeting after the first year of the President’s term.

  • The Treasurer is nominated and elected by the GM to serve a three-year term, renewable once.  They manage the society’s finances and investments and report to the GM on the Society’s finances.  The immediate past Treasurer shall be ex officio a member of the Executive Committee for a one-year period.

  • The Secretary is nominated and elected by the GM to serve a three-year term, renewable once.  They shall be responsible for the Society’s membership and subscription lists, the agenda and minutes of the GM, assisting the President in the Society’s business and shall report to the GM on the state of the Society’s membership.

  • The Media Officer is nominated and elected by the GM to serve a three-year term, renewable once. The Media Officer shall be responsible for normal maintenance of the Society’s website as well as publicizing the ADHS online, including the Society’s social media. The Media Officer shall work closely with the President, Secretary, and Treasurer on the content of the website and publicity; and shall report to the GM on the state of the Society’s website/online presence.

  • The Editor(s)-in-Chief is appointed by the Executive Committee and confirmed by the GM for a four-year term, renewable once. The Editor-in-Chief shall be responsible for the publication of the Society’s journal and shall oversee the Editorial Board; and shall report to the GM on the state of The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs.


The Board of Directors (Board) of individual members shall be nominated prior to and elected at the GM, having been proposed and seconded by members of the Society prior to the GM. Institutional members are not represented on the Board.

  • The Board will be composed of (a) the Officers and (b) up to 12 current members of the Society with selective retirement of members to be decided initially by internal agreement. The normal term of office will be 4 years with possibility of 4 years renewal.

  • The Board shall provide guidance on key issues such as the Society’s policies, objectives and strategy as well as decisions involving large expenditures and subscription rates.

  • A quorum of the Board shall consist of 5 members either assembled in person or remotely or those members responding within thirty days to an email poll by the President, provided that at least one-third of the current Board responds.

  • The Board may determine such procedural standing orders as it sees fit for the transaction of Society business, providing no such standing orders contravene this Constitution. It has the power to co-opt and form sub-committees. All sub-committees are responsible to the Board and subject to annual review by it.


A General Meeting (GM) shall be convened by the President at the Society’s biennial conference to:
Elect a President, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, Media Officer and members of the Executive Committee in accordance with the constitution.
Review the appointment of the Editor-in-Chief.

  • Receive and approve reports by the President, Secretary, Treasurer, Media Officer, and Editor(s)-in-Chief.

  • Transact any other necessary business, including the conferment of any awards the ADHS may wish to establish.

  • 15 persons will constitute a quorum for a GM.

  • The Secretary shall announce the time and place of the GM with at least one month’s notice through the Society’s outlets.

  • Any minutes of the GM or meeting of the Board of Directors shall be made available via the Society’s website no later than one month after the meeting has taken place.

  • A general member wishing to have any matter, including changes to the Constitution, placed on the agenda for the GM should inform the Secretary-Treasurer in writing no later than twenty-eight days before the meeting.

  • The President shall also have the power to call an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) if necessary to conduct Society business outside a normal GM.


Alterations to the Constitution must receive the assent of two-thirds of the members present and voting at a GM. 

A resolution for the alteration of the Constitution must be received by the Secretary at least twenty-eight days before the meeting to which the resolution is to be brought forward.

At least twenty-one days’ notice of such a meeting must be given by the Secretary to the GM and must include notice of the alteration(s) proposed.

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