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National Addictions Centre news

Research and researchers from the National Addiction Centre often feature in newspapers, magazine and television programmes. In this section you can find links to recent items and articles:-

Embracing new technology, the work of the NAC is now being disseminated using podcasts.

If you know about other media articles that are not shown here, please send any relevant details to Naoko Jones

Thank you.


December 2018

Friday, 14th December 2018

For a second year running, several members of the Addictions Department have been honoured with NIHR Know-Your-CLAHRC 2018 awards.

  • Dr Debbie Robson and Professor Ann McNeill - for ‘Most Innovative Collaboration’, acknowledging their collaboration with ASH to form the Mental Health and Smoking Partnership, as part of their work on the CLAHRC Psychosis Theme.
  • Dr Andreas Kimergård - for ‘Most Active Contribution from a Post-doctoral Researcher’ for his outstanding work on the alcohol assertive outreach trial and wider contributions to the CLAHRC Alcohol Theme.
  • Dr Joanna Milward - for ‘Most Active Contribution from a Pre-doctoral Researcher’ for her innovative work on electronic alcohol interventions for young adults as part of the CLAHRC Alcohol Theme.

Award entries were judged by senior stakeholders from health partners across South London. All received an award from senior staff at King’s Health Partners and the Health Innovation Network, at an awards ceremony on 28th November 2018 in the Ortus Centre in Denmark Hill Campus, and will also receive funding to support research within the respective implementation research themes.

This demonstrates not only the wide range of high quality research activity within the Department but also the reach and real world impact of the work.


Further details can be found at:

November 2018

Friday, 30th November 2018

Dr Gail Gilchrist has won 2018 EMCDDA (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction) scientific award with the article 'Psychiatric comorbidity and intimate partner violence among women who inject drugs in Europe: a cross-sectional study' she co-authored.

Please check here for more details.

October 2018

IoPPNExcellenceAward_Module2018The Addictions Alcohol module has won a 2017/2018 IoPPN Module Excellence Award. This award was based on criteria such as minimum response rates and overall student satisfaction scores, as obtained from the results of the EvaSys student experience survey.

We would like to thank and congratulate all our colleagues who contributed to the module.



Tuesday, 9th October 2018

We are pleased to announce that our MSc Addiction Studies has received an Excellence Award for student satisfaction. 

In the recent Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES), our programme received a high overall satisfaction rating from our students, with 100% of them completing the survey. A particular strength of the programme identified in this survey was the quality of teaching and we also showed marked improvement in the category of feedback and assessment, relative to previous years.

MSc Addiction Studies

MSc International Programme in Addiction Studies (IPAS)

September 2018

ProfessorAnnMcNeillWe are delighted to announce that Prof Ann McNeill has been appointed a Fellow of the International Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT). This award recognises Professor McNeill’s outstanding leadership and longstanding contribution to progressing research on nicotine and tobacco addiction. Ann’s research and activities in the field of nicotine and tobacco have contributed to national debates, policy changes and the establishment of stop smoking services in the UK with implications for harm reduction, smoking cessation and improved health outcomes. Her international research collaborations also ensure that the impact generated has truly world-wide reach.

On hearing the award Ann commented: ‘It’s a privilege to have been acknowledged in this way. I’m enormously grateful to colleagues in the Nicotine Research Group and elsewhere who nominated me and I’m lucky to work with such a supportive and stimulating group. Despite our efforts, smoking continues to challenge us as it remains the largest single cause of preventable disease and death in the UK and many other countries around the world, so plenty of work ahead’.

The SRNT is a professional association of academics, researchers, clinicians and government officials working across the field of nicotineand tobacco with members in over 40 countries.

August 2018

Wednesday, 15th August 2018

Prof Sir John Strang and Dr Katherine Sleeman (The Cicely Saunders Institute, King's College London) wrote for BBC about why opioids are such useful drugs, despite their potential harms. You can read this article here.

December 2017

Tuesday, 18th December 2017

Mary ParkinsonMary Parkinson (1960-2017)

It is with great sadness that we report the untimely death of Mary Parkinson, who died last week at the age of 57. Mary was the daughter of Ann and Cecil Parkinson, and was a strong supporter of the work of the National Addiction Centre as well as supporting Action on Addiction and being active with a variety of services to support those recovering from addiction. Mary herself had struggled with severe addiction problems in her early adult life and was a constant champion of diverse pathways to recovery. Her achievements and sobriety were a source of encouragement to others, whose own recovery she supported. 

Mary’s parents, Ann and Cecil Parkinson, have been longstanding supporters of addiction charities, and Mary’s mother, The Lady Parkinson, worked closely with the founder of the NAC Professor Griffith Edwards as the driving force behind creation of the charity Action on Addiction (AonA) and the establishment of the National Addiction Centre. 

Mary will be remembered fondly, will be respected for her determination to wrestle with demons and will be a source of inspiration to many for her warmth and generosity to others. 

August 2017

King's Spotlight - Saving lives after heroin overdose



King's has chosen our work on prevention of heroin overdose deaths through pre-provision of naloxone ('Take-Home Naloxone') as one of the topics for their 'King's Spotlight' series, and they have produced a brief video to describe the contribution. Since we originally conceived this approach 30 years ago (for history, see, it had now become a major plank of public policy and public health planning across the world. The support of clinical and research colleagues has been vital to the development and refinement of the approach, and so too the support from service users and families. 

The service user and peer provider role is well-captured by Martin McCusker who has kindly contributed to the video and gives a valuable complementary perspective.

'King's Spotlight' says: ‘Over the past two decades, researchers from King’s College London have significantly changed public policy on naloxone, a fast-acting antidote which revives someone suspected of heroin overdose.

Naloxone is a ‘take home’ solution which can be administered by friends and family to provide crucial extra time to seek further medical treatment.

In this new video Professor Sir John Strang, Head of the Addictions Department at King’s, reflects on 20 years of research and looks ahead to future developments for the life-saving antidote.’


September 2016

ADVANCE research programme - Could group therapy reduce domestic violence among men in substance use treatment?

A new King’s College London research programme will examine whether group therapy leads to a reduction in domestic violence among men receiving treatment for substance use. 

The ADVANCE research programme, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), starts next month and will bring together researchers, patients and policymakers from across King’s, the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, University of Worcester, University of Bristol, University of Manchester, University of York, Rochester Institute of Technology (USA) and RESPECT, the UK membership organisation for work with domestic violence perpetrators, male victims and young people.

 Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) refers to any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse. Previous research has found that 40 per cent of men receiving treatment for substance use had been physically or sexually violent towards their partner in the previous year, rising to 70 per cent for psychological abuse - rates far higher than among the general population. 

Despite this, few studies have been conducted to examine the effectiveness of interventions for male substance users who perpetrate IPV. The new five-year research programme will test whether a group therapy that addresses IPV and substance use concurrently reduces IPV carried out by men attending substance use treatment sessions, and whether this leads to a resulting improvement in depressive symptoms among their current and ex-partners.  

Dr Gail Gilchrist, Senior Lecturer, National Addiction Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London, will lead this NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research. Dr Gilchrist said: “Substance use is a known risk factor for IPV, yet most perpetrator interventions do not address substance use. This research brings key stakeholders together from both the domestic violence and substance use sectors to develop an evidence based intervention to address both substance use and IPV. We believe that providing integrated interventions that address both IPV and substance use in substance use treatment settings will ensure more perpetrators are reached and better outcomes are achieved for perpetrators, survivors and their children, which should in turn reduce costs for the NHS, social and criminal justice services." 

Collaborators on the project from King’s include Dr Polly Radcliffe, Professor Sir John Strang, Professor Louise Howard and Professor Sabine Landau. Two new members of staff have also been appointed at King’s National Addiction Centre: Juliet Henderson (Project Manager) and Fay Dennis (Research Assistant).  

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