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Nicola Metrebian is a Senior Research Fellow in the Addictions Department. Nicola joined King’s College London in 2005 having previously worked at Imperial College London. She has a background in Psychology and a PhD from Imperial College London. She has 20 years in addiction research undertaking large clinical RCTS to assess the effectiveness of pharmacological and behavioural interventions for opioid use disorder.

Her research includes evaluating supervised injectable heroin treatment for hard to treat heroin users (RIOTT Trial) and assessing the effectiveness of contingency management (financial incentives) in improving treatment outcomes for those with opioid use disorder receiving opioid agonist treatment (NIHR Research Programme Grant – Hepatitis B & PRAISe Trials). In 2015 she received an EMCDDA Scientific Paper award for her paper published in the Lancet reporting on the benefits of using small financial incentives to encourage the completion of hepatitis B vaccination among individuals receiving opiate treatment. In 2016 she (along with Professor Sir John Strang) received the King’s Award for Research Project of the Year for their research on contingency management. She is currently researching the use of mobile telephones to deliver behavioural interventions and undertaking an international study examining the effectiveness of take home naloxone.

Nicola is chair of the Addictions Department Diversity and Inclusion working group and member of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience Diversity and Inclusion Self Assessment Team working group.

Research Interests

  • Opioid use
  • Opioid Agonist treatment
  • Behavioural interventions
  • Contingency management
  • Digital technology in healthcare
  • Delivering interventions via mobile telephones
  • Take Home Naloxone

Research Groups

  • Drugs research group
  • Contingency Management Programme
  • Naloxone
  • New heroin-assisted treatment
  • Randomised Injectable Opiate Treatment Trial
  • (RIOTT)
  • TIES Project

Expertise and Public Engagement

Senior Advisor for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) London Research Design Service.

Key publications

Metrebian, N., Weaver, T., Pilling, S., Goldsmith, K., Carr, E., Shearer, J., Woolston-thomas, K., Tas, B., Getty, C., Cooper, C., et al Telephone delivered Incentives for Encouraging adherence to Supervised methadone consumption (TIES): study protocol for a feasibility study for an RCT of clinical and cost effectiveness. Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications. 2020; 17, 100506.

Day, E., Kirberg, S. & Metrebian, N. Affiliation to alcoholics anonymous or narcotics anonymous among patients attending an English specialist addiction service. Drugs and Alcohol Today. 2019; 19, 4, p. 257-269

Getty, C-A., Morande, A. M., Lynskey, M., Weaver, T. & Metrebian, N., Mobile Telephone-Delivered Contingency Management interventions promoting behaviour change in individuals with substance use disorders: A meta-analysis

Addiction. 2019; 114, 11, p. 1915-1925

Metrebian, N., Weaver, T., Pilling, S., Hellier, J., Byford, S., Shearer, J., Mitcheson, L., Astbury, M., Bijral, P., Bogdan, N., Bowden-Jones, O., Day, E., Dunn, J., Finch, E., Forshall, S., Glasper, A., Morse, G., Akhtar, S., Bajaria, J., Bennett, C. & 15 others. Positive reinforcement targeting abstinence in substance misuse (PRAISe): Study protocol for a Cluster RCT & process evaluation of contingency management. Contemporary Clinical Trials 2018; 71 :124-132

Rafia R, Dodd P.J, Brennan A, Meier P.S, Hope V.D, Ncube F, Byford S, Tie H, Metrebian N, Hellier J, Weaver T, and Strang J. An economic evaluation of contingency management for completion of hepatitis B vaccination in those on treatment for opiate dependence Addiction.2016:111(9):1616-1627.

Strang J, Groshkova T, Uchtenhagen A, van den Brink W, Haasen C, Schechter M T, Lintzeris N, Bell J, Pirona A, Oviedo-Joekes E, Simon R & Metrebian N. Heroin on trial: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised trials of diamorphine prescribing as treatment for refractory heroin addiction. The British Journal of Psychiatry 2015: 207, 5-14.

Weaver T, Metrebian N, Strang J. Correspondence. Use of contingency management incentives to improve completion of hepatitis B vaccination in people undergoing treatment for heroin dependence: a cluster randomised trial. The Lancet; 2015; 385:116

Metrebian, N Groshkova, T, Hellier J, Charles V, Martin A, Forzisi L Lintzeris N, Zador D, Williams H, Carnwath T, Mayet S and Strang J. Drug Use, health and social outcomes of hard to treat heroin addicts receiving supervised injectable opiate treatment: secondary outcomes from the Randomised Injectable Opioid Treatment Trial (RIOTT). Addiction 2015; 110 (3):479–490.

Weaver T,* Metrebian N*, Hellier J, Pilling S, Charles V, Little N, Poovendran D, Mitcheson L, Ryan F,Bowden-Jones O, Dunn J, Glasper A, Finch E, Strang J. Use of contingency management incentives to improve completion of hepatitis B vaccination in people undergoing treatment for heroin dependence: a cluster randomised trial. The Lancet 2014; 384:153-63. (* joint first authors)

Groshkova, T; Metrebian, N; Hallam, C; Charles, V; Martin, A, Forzisi, L; Lintzeris, N and Strang J. Treatment expectations and satisfaction of treatment-refractory opioid-dependent patients in RIOTT, the Randomised Injectable Opiate Treatment Trial, the UK’s first supervised injectable maintenance clinics. Drug and Alcohol Review 2013; 32, 566-573

Byford S, Barrett B, Metrebian N, Groshkova T, Cary M, Charles V, Lintzeris N and Strang J. Cost-effectiveness of injectable opioid treatment v. oral methadone for chronic heroin addiction. The British Journal of Psychiatry 2013; 203:341-349.

Strang J, Groshkova T and Metrebian N. New Heroin-Assisted Treatment: Recent evidence and current practices of supervised injectable heroin treatment in Europe and beyond. 2012. EMCDDA Insight series 11

Strang J, Metrebian N, Lintzeris N, Potts L, Carnwath T, Mayet S, et al Supervised injectable heroin or injectable methadone versus optimised oral methadone as treatment for chronic heroin addicts in England after persistent failure in orthodox treatment (RIOTT) : a randomised trial. The Lancet; 2010 375: 1885-95


Lectures on behavioural interventions, undertaking clinical trials and drug and alcohol policy on the MSc In Addiction Studies

Contributes to the Addictions MOOC, the International Programme in Addiction Studies (IPAS), and the MSc in Psychiatric Research

Supervises research projects on MSc In Addiction Studies and MSc Mental Health Studies