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Professor,Sir John Strang

Head of Department

Research interests

  • Mental Health

Biography

Professor Sir John Strang - MBBS, FRCPsych, FRCP, MD, F.Med.Sci. - is a leading clinical academic who has conducted extensive addiction research studies and has worked with governments to improve responses to problems of addiction and related complications.

He has worked in the addictions field as a clinician and researcher for 40 years and has had an active interest in working with policy formation. He has lead the addiction group at the Institute since 1995.  

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 and has been director of the National Addictions Centre since 1995. He is Co-Deputy Lead for the Pain and Addictions Theme at the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre.

Research Interests

He has a particular interest in looking for improved treatments in the field of opioid addiction and possible novel strategies for the prevention of Heroin overdose deaths. This involves experimental studies, through treatment innovations and clinical trials as well as policy initiatives.

Research Groups

Professor Strang provides the overall academic leadership for the Addictions CAG (Clinical Academic Group) within King's Health Partners, which 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.

Professor Strang has extensive experience as a Lead Clinician working with a wide range of treatments in community and residential settings and has been a Consultant Psychiatrist in addictions treatment for over 30 years.

Expertise and Public Engagement

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.

Declaration of Interests

Professor Strang (JS) 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 Academic 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 with the South London & Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust, which provides treatments in the drug, alcohol and smoking cessation fields.

JS'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.

JS 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) previously registered intellectual property on an innovative buccal naloxone with which JS is involved, and JS was previously named in a patent registration by a Pharma company as inventor of a potential concentrated naloxone nasal spray. JS’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, MundiPharma, Camurus, Accord/Molteni) and medication or device supply from Camurus and Pneumowave and discussions with others including Oval, Accord, Rusan, Indivior, dne pharma, Pneumowave and Q2i concerning medicinal or technology products potentially applicable in the treatment of addictions and related problems and has argued for the development of improved formulations and devices. 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), novel non-injectable emergency medications as well as possible wearable devices. This includes research grant support from NIHR which includes sub-contract tasks for the app development company Q2i/CMI, academic fellowship support from SSA including CM-related app development also by Q2i, innovation grant support from SHIP/OLS/SBRI to explore feasibility of buccal naloxone manufacture by Catalent alongside MHRA discussions arranged by Accord, as well as sub-contract tasks for ourselves from SME Pneumowave funded by SHIP/OLS/SBRI. We also collaborate on survey and interview tasks with other partners including Scottish Drug Forum (SDF), DrugFAM and SFAD (Scottish Families affected by Alcohol and Drugs).

JS has worked 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 various charitable funded providers, including Lifeline (Manchester), Phoenix House, KCA (Kent Council on Addictions), and Clouds (Action on Addiction). He is also a Patron of the charity DrugFam.

JS has previously worked (or works) with various drug policy organisations and advisory bodies including the UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC), the Society for the Study of Addiction (SSA), and European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), UNODC (United Nations) and WHO (World Health Organization). JS was a Trustee of the Society for the Study of Addiction (SSA) from 1991 - 2023.

Teaching

  • MSc Addictions
  • BSc Psychology - Addictions module

    Research

    drug bottles hero
    Drugs Research Group

    Substance misuse research within the Addictions Department is led by Professors John Strang and John Marsden. 

    Contingency Management Programme

    This consists of five linked research studies which aim to develop a UK Evidence Base for Contingency Management in Addiction Treatment.

    Project status: Ongoing

    Alcohol and drugs
    Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy

    Emerging consensus on measuring addiction recovery: Findings from a multi-stakeholder consultation exercise.

    Project status: Ongoing

    Research
    Femoral Injecting

    Femoral Injecting

    Project status: Ongoing

    preventing deaths from heroin overdose at home
    N-ALIVE

    Randomised trial of take-home Naloxone to prevent heroin overdose deaths post-prison release.

    Project status: Ongoing

    naloxone
    Naloxone

    Naloxone is an opiate antagonist which reverses the effects of a heroin overdose.

    Project status: Ongoing

    preventing deaths from heroin overdose at home
    New heroin-assisted treatment

    Recent evidence and current practices of supervised injectable heroin treatment in Europe and beyond

    Project status: Ongoing

    Projects
    Preventing blood borne virus infection in people who inject drugs (project PROTECT)

    In the UK, around 33%-56% of people who inject drugs (PWID) have hepatitis C. Rates of HIV (0-1%) and hepatitis B (6-18%) are much lower.

    Project status: Ongoing

    clinicaltrials1
    Randomised Injectable Opiate Treatment Trial (RIOTT)

    At least 5–10% of heroin addicts fail to benefit from established conventional treatments but whether they are untreatable or just difficult to treat is unknown

    Project status: Ongoing

    supervised methadone treatment saves lives
    TIES Project

    Telephone delivered Incentives for Encouraging adherence to Supervised methadone consumption:development and feasibility study clinical and cost effectiveness.

    Project status: Ongoing

    News

    Cannabis intoxication triggers cognitive mechanism of addiction

    Researchers suggest that the main component of cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), could underpin the cognitive mechanisms behind cannabis use...

    cannabis plant 780x440

    King's innovative AI projects funded to tackle fatal opioid overdoses

    Funding from Office for Life Sciences and the Scottish Government for two new projects, including testing the potential of an AI-powered overdose-detecting...

    Image of an syringe

    Cannabis not made safer by increasing its CBD content

    New research from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London has found no evidence that cannabidiol (CBD) reduces...

    cannabis

    Winners of the 2022 Addictions Clinical Academic Group Early Career Research Prize announced

    Dr Katie East, Dr Basak Tas, Alice Bowen, Eileen Brobbin, and Dr Will Lawn have been announced as Addictions Clinical Academic Group (CAG) Early Career...

    Academic CAG Early Career Research Prize Winners

    New collaboration with digital therapeutics company to investigate preventable opioid respiratory deaths

    A new collaboration between the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London and the digital therapeutics company,...

    drug dose

    Maudsley Hospital and King's College London's National Addiction Centre lights up purple to raise awareness for International Overdose Awareness Day

    International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on 31 August each year to raise awareness of overdoses, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths...

    windsorwalk_0031

    The significant effect of lockdown on gambler's mental health

    King’s College London study assesses the potential impacts of COVID-19 nationwide lockdown on longer term depression, anxiety, and stress in gamblers in the UK.

    Man sat on a sofa with his laptop on a gambling website

    Events

    15NovSpecial Grand-Round

    Maudsley 100 Grand Round(s)

    Join us for a very special celebratory Grand Round(s), as clinicians and academics reflect on 100 years of the Maudsley Hospital.

    Please note: this event has passed.

    22FebIn conversation with Professor Dame Carol Black

    In conversation with Professor Dame Carol Black

    Join us for a one-hour conversation with Professor Dame Carol Black and her career as a pioneering woman in medicine.

    Please note: this event has passed.

    Spotlight

    Preventing deaths from opioid overdose with Take-Home Naloxone

    Over the last 10 years, King’s researchers have developed and adapted an innovative approach which mobilises the general public, including drug users...

    THN 2 1903x1080

      Research

      drug bottles hero
      Drugs Research Group

      Substance misuse research within the Addictions Department is led by Professors John Strang and John Marsden. 

      Contingency Management Programme

      This consists of five linked research studies which aim to develop a UK Evidence Base for Contingency Management in Addiction Treatment.

      Project status: Ongoing

      Alcohol and drugs
      Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy

      Emerging consensus on measuring addiction recovery: Findings from a multi-stakeholder consultation exercise.

      Project status: Ongoing

      Research
      Femoral Injecting

      Femoral Injecting

      Project status: Ongoing

      preventing deaths from heroin overdose at home
      N-ALIVE

      Randomised trial of take-home Naloxone to prevent heroin overdose deaths post-prison release.

      Project status: Ongoing

      naloxone
      Naloxone

      Naloxone is an opiate antagonist which reverses the effects of a heroin overdose.

      Project status: Ongoing

      preventing deaths from heroin overdose at home
      New heroin-assisted treatment

      Recent evidence and current practices of supervised injectable heroin treatment in Europe and beyond

      Project status: Ongoing

      Projects
      Preventing blood borne virus infection in people who inject drugs (project PROTECT)

      In the UK, around 33%-56% of people who inject drugs (PWID) have hepatitis C. Rates of HIV (0-1%) and hepatitis B (6-18%) are much lower.

      Project status: Ongoing

      clinicaltrials1
      Randomised Injectable Opiate Treatment Trial (RIOTT)

      At least 5–10% of heroin addicts fail to benefit from established conventional treatments but whether they are untreatable or just difficult to treat is unknown

      Project status: Ongoing

      supervised methadone treatment saves lives
      TIES Project

      Telephone delivered Incentives for Encouraging adherence to Supervised methadone consumption:development and feasibility study clinical and cost effectiveness.

      Project status: Ongoing

      News

      Cannabis intoxication triggers cognitive mechanism of addiction

      Researchers suggest that the main component of cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), could underpin the cognitive mechanisms behind cannabis use...

      cannabis plant 780x440

      King's innovative AI projects funded to tackle fatal opioid overdoses

      Funding from Office for Life Sciences and the Scottish Government for two new projects, including testing the potential of an AI-powered overdose-detecting...

      Image of an syringe

      Cannabis not made safer by increasing its CBD content

      New research from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London has found no evidence that cannabidiol (CBD) reduces...

      cannabis

      Winners of the 2022 Addictions Clinical Academic Group Early Career Research Prize announced

      Dr Katie East, Dr Basak Tas, Alice Bowen, Eileen Brobbin, and Dr Will Lawn have been announced as Addictions Clinical Academic Group (CAG) Early Career...

      Academic CAG Early Career Research Prize Winners

      New collaboration with digital therapeutics company to investigate preventable opioid respiratory deaths

      A new collaboration between the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London and the digital therapeutics company,...

      drug dose

      Maudsley Hospital and King's College London's National Addiction Centre lights up purple to raise awareness for International Overdose Awareness Day

      International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on 31 August each year to raise awareness of overdoses, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths...

      windsorwalk_0031

      The significant effect of lockdown on gambler's mental health

      King’s College London study assesses the potential impacts of COVID-19 nationwide lockdown on longer term depression, anxiety, and stress in gamblers in the UK.

      Man sat on a sofa with his laptop on a gambling website

      Events

      15NovSpecial Grand-Round

      Maudsley 100 Grand Round(s)

      Join us for a very special celebratory Grand Round(s), as clinicians and academics reflect on 100 years of the Maudsley Hospital.

      Please note: this event has passed.

      22FebIn conversation with Professor Dame Carol Black

      In conversation with Professor Dame Carol Black

      Join us for a one-hour conversation with Professor Dame Carol Black and her career as a pioneering woman in medicine.

      Please note: this event has passed.

      Spotlight

      Preventing deaths from opioid overdose with Take-Home Naloxone

      Over the last 10 years, King’s researchers have developed and adapted an innovative approach which mobilises the general public, including drug users...

      THN 2 1903x1080