Ms Nicola Singleton
Former Director of Policy and Research at the UK Drug Policy Commission
Nicola Singleton is an independent freelance analyst and researcher specialising in the fields of substance misuse and mental health. She has acted as population prevalence expert for the UK Focal Point on Drugs since 2005.
Until December 2012, Nicola was Director of Policy and Research at the UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC), a charitably-funded organisation established to provide objective analysis of UK drug policy and encourage greater use of evidence in drug policy and practice. The UKDPC reviewed the evidence and undertook research within a range of areas, including programmes highlighting the impact of stigma towards drug users and their families on their recovery and the course of their drug problems and looking at taking a harm-focused approach to enforcement. The findings from all this research has been pulled together in a recent report entitled A Fresh Approach to Drugs and complemented by a review of the structures and process by which drug policy is made in the UK and how these might be improved.
Nicola joined UKDPC from the Home Office in June 2007. During the previous four years, while at the Home Office, she had responsibility for research and performance monitoring across the full range of drug policy areas, including prevalence monitoring, drug-related crime, treatment outcomes and young people’s issues. Prior to this, Nicola worked at the Office for National Statistics conducting a range of major national surveys and research studies of mental health and drug use within the general population, prisons and among homeless people and as a researcher in a local health authority in the field of public health. Her early career was spent overseas in a range of countries working in the field of nutrition, which spanned nutrition surveillance, surveys, education and rehabilitation.