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Head of Department

Professor Sir John Strang

MBBS, FRCPsych, FRCP, MD, F.Med.Sci.


PA: Margarita Bela / Tel: 020 7848 0438


Professor Sir John Strang  is a leading clinical academic who has conducted extensive research studies and has worked with governments to improve responses to problems of addiction and related complications. He is one of only a small number of senior addictions researchers outside North America identified by ISI (the Institute for Scientific Analysis) since 2000 as a “Highly Cited Author” with a rate of citation in the “top one half of one percent of all publishing researchers in the last two decades”. He has published extensively in the addictions field, with more than 500 publications, and is Head of the Addictions Department.

Professor Strang is also Leader of the Addictions CAG (Clinical Academic Group) of Kings Health Partners AHSC (Academic Health Science Centre). He also has extensive experience as a Lead Clinician in charge of a wide range of treatments in community and residential settings and has been a Consultant Psychiatrist in addictions treatment for over 30 years.

Professor Strang also provides the overall leadership for the Addictions CAG (Clinical Academic Group) within King's Health Partners, and forms one of the core areas of the Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC). This brings together university partners King's College London with the NHS from South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, King's College Hospital, and Guy's and St Thomas's. The Addictions CAG, along with other mental health CAGs, is distinctive within King’s Health Partners for crossing the divide between physical and mental health.

The Addictions Department itself is hugely productive. The highly influential report by RAND Europe rates Substance Abuse Research at the National Addiction Centre as leading the field in UK Universities. Through its analyses of the share of Highly Cited Publications over a 10-year period (2002-2011) by subject and university, RAND Europe scores our Addictions (Substance Abuse) publications as leading the field at 13%, with all other institutions except two scoring under 5%.

Professor Strang has chaired and/or served on key committees or guidelines groups for the Department of Health, for NICE (the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence) and for the World Health Organisation (WHO). This provides opportunity to bring relevant evidence from new scientific studies and systematic reviews to the policy-making work of these committees.


Professor Strang trained as a medical doctor (MBBS) and then specialised in psychiatry – first at Guy’s and then at the Maudsley. He has worked in the addictions field since the mid-1970s. He became a consultant addictions psychiatrist in Manchester in 1982, and since 1986, at the Maudsley in London. In 1995, he completed his thesis-based Higher Degree (MD) at the University of London.


Current research interests include: new analyses of impact of public policy; potential approaches involving family members and take-home emergency naloxone to prevent heroin-overdose deaths; incentive-based interventions to improve treatment effectiveness in reducing drug use and associated harms; clinical trials of potential new pharmacotherapies and behavioural and psychological therapies in the addictions field; investigations of supervised injecting clinics for managing entrenched heroin addicts who cannot otherwise be engaged in treatment.


Professor Strang has published over 500 papers and chapters in the addictions field, and has co-authored or co-edited about a dozen books or key reports including: -

  • Miller, Miller & Strang (2010) Addiction Research Methods. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Babor et al (2010) Drug Policy and the Public Good. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Strang et al (2012) New heroin-assisted treatment: recent evidence and current practices of supervised injectable heroin treatment in Europe and beyond. EMCDDA, Lisbon.
For a full publication list, please see here.
Declaration of Interests

Professor Strang is Head of Department for the Addictions academic activity of the IoPPN (Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience), Kings College London, which includes conduct of diverse research studies and provision of educational activity in the Addictions. He is also Leader of the Addictions CAG (Clinical Academic Group), within the KHP AHSC (King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre). He also holds an honorary appointment at, and is in a leadership position for, the Addictions clinical activity of the South London & Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust, which provides treatments in the drug, alcohol and smoking cessation fields.

Professor Strang's employer (King’s College London) has received, connected to his work, project grant support and/or honoraria and/or consultancy payments from Department of Health, NTA (National Treatment Agency), PHE (Public Health England), Home Office, NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence), and EMCDDA (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction) as well as research grants from (last 3 years) NIHR (National Institute on Health Research), MRC (Medical Research Council) and Pilgrim Trust. Has worked with WHO (World Health Organization), UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime), EMCDDA, FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) and NIDA (US National Institute on Drug Abuse) and with other international government agencies. His employer (King’s College London) is registering intellectual property on an innovative buccal naloxone with which John Strang is involved, and John has been named in a patent registration by a Pharma company as inventor of a potential concentrated naloxone nasal spray. Professor Strang’s employer (King’s College London) has also received, connected to his work, research grant support and/or payment of honoraria, consultancy payments and/or travelling and/or accommodation and/or conference expenses from pharmaceutical companies (including, past 3 years, Martindale, Reckitt-Benckiser, MundiPharma, Braeburn/MedPace, Molteni Farma) and trial medication supply from iGen and also discussions with Alkermes, Fidelity International, Rusan, Titan, Indivior, Adapt, Camurus concerning medicinal products potentially applicable in the treatment of addictions and related problems and has argued for the development of improved formulations. This includes exploration of the potential for; and consideration of research trials of, improved medications with less abuse liability, longer duration of action (e.g. implant or depot formulations) and also novel non-injectable emergency medications.

Professor Strang works closely with the charity Action on Addiction, and also with the Pilgrim Trust, and has received grant support from them. He has previous close links with charitable funded providers, including Lifeline (Manchester), Phoenix House, KCA UK (Kent Council on Addictions), and Clouds (Action on Addiction).

Professor Strang works (or has recently worked) with various drug policy organisations and advisory bodies including the UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC), the Society for the Study of Addiction (SSA), and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

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