News archive 2010
King’s hosts US Deputy Drugs Czar09 Mar 2010, PR 47/10
The Principal, Professor Rick Trainor, welcomed Professor A Thomas McLellan, Deputy Director and Chief Scientist, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), to the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) at King’s on Monday 8 March.
Professor McLellan’s lecture ‘Prevention, Treatment and Science in the Obama Administration’s National Drug Control Policy’, was received by a packed audience of leading research, policy, treatment and recovery professionals, including Professor Dame Sally C Davies, Director General of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Adviser, Department of Health; Professor John Strang, Head of Addictions, IoP; Professor Shitij Kapur, Dean and Head of School, IoP and Stuart Bell, Chief Executive, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.
Professor McLellan was accompanied on his visit to the UK by his Senior Policy Advisor Dr Keith Humphreys, who also holds an Honorary Professorship in the addictions at the IoP.
Professor Trainor said: 'It is an honour to welcome such a manifestly distinguished and influential researcher, teacher and clinician to King's.'
Professor Strang continued: 'Professor McLellan is an esteemed colleague whose work has impacted far and wide. He has a particular ability to bring people together to promote dialogue – in the political arena, respectful and productive dialogue between scientist and policymaker.'
Professor McLellan described the rationale and scientific underpinnings behind the demand reduction components of President Obama's national drug control strategy. The new strategy was designed to focus on gaps in current provision with the emphasis on prevention as opposed to the majority of effort being placed on those requiring intensive treatment. Professor McLellan highlighted available evidence-based treatments which were very effective but not being made use of. He also pledged that treatment and prevention would be placed in the heart of healthcare and the heart of the community.
The three themes which pervade the proposed strategy – evidence-based interventions, community-level involvement and shared responsibility, inform a five-fold demand reduction initiative: create a national system of evidence-based “Prevention Prepared Communities”; train mainstream healthcare workers to screen and intervene in emerging substance abuse problems; expand and incorporate addiction treatment into mainstream healthcare; create protocols for safe management of drug-related offenders within the community; and collect and report performance-oriented indicators of substance use and use-related problems.
Professor McLellan was en route to represent the United States at the Commission on Narcotics Drugs in Vienna.
The event was organised by the Conference Consortium, DrugScope and Drug and Alcohol Findings and hosted by the National Addiction Centre at the IoP and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.
Notes to editors
King's College London
King's College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (Times Higher Education 2009) and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King's has nearly 23,000 students (of whom more than 8,600 are graduate students) from nearly 140 countries, and some 5,500 employees. King's is in the second phase of a £1 billion redevelopment programme which is transforming its estate.
King's has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise for British universities, 23 departments were ranked in the top quartile of British universities; over half of our academic staff work in departments that are in the top 10 per cent in the UK in their field and can thus be classed as world leading. The College is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of nearly £450 million.
King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe; no university has more Medical Research Council Centres.
King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King's Health Partners. King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world's leading research-led universities and three of London's most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit: www.kingshealthpartners.org.
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