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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.

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 is a Trustee of the Society for the Study of Addiction (SSA).


  • MSc Addictions
  • BSc Psychology - Addictions module

Highlighted Publications