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Dr Stephen Parkin

Research Fellow


Stephen Parkin is a Research Fellow within the National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience. Stephen has an academic background in anthropology and sociology, and is a qualitative researcher with interests in:

  • applied qualitative research in the fields of public health, primary and secondary care
  • qualitative studies of substance use (alcohol and other drugs)
  • harm reduction approaches to substance use
  • homelessness (and related intervention)
  • drug-using environments (including street-based injecting)
  • drug-related litter (including management and intervention)
  • safer injecting facilities
  • opioid overdose (including naloxone and drug-related death)
  • treatment options for opioid use
  • bio-technological developments in drug treatment (especially long-acting injectable buprenorphine [depot-buprenorphine])
  • stigma (especially language used in academic output)
  • quality improvement in health services (including patient experience)
  • qualitative research methods (especially visual research, ethnography, longitudinal qualitative research and rapid appraisal)
  • qualitative data analysis (including framework, narrative, content and longitudinal qualitative data analysis)


Parkin, S. (2014) An Applied Visual Sociology: Picturing Harm Reduction. Farnham, Ashgate Publications Ltd.

Parkin, S. (2013) Habitus and Drug Using Environments: Health, Place and Lived Experience. Farnham, Ashgate Publications Ltd.

Selected Journal Publications

Neale, J., Parkin, S., and Strang, J. (In Press) What are patients’ goals when initiating depot buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorder? Findings from a longitudinal qualitative study. Substance Abuse, Treatment, Prevention and Policy

Neale, J., Parkin, S., and Strang, J. (2023) How do patients feel 72 hours after initiating depot buprenorphine? An embodied qualitative analysis. Addiction.

Neale, J., Parkin, S., and Strang, J. (2023) A qualitative study of patients’ decisions to initiate injectable depot buprenorphine for opioid use disorder: the role of information and other factors. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy

Parkin, S. (2022). Breaking the cycle of stigma in academic writing. Society for the Study of Addiction.

Neale, J., Parkin, S., Hermann, L., Metrebian, N., Roberts, E., Robson, D. & Strang, J. (2022). Substance use and people housed in emergency hotels during the COVID-19 pandemic: qualitative study with implications for policy and practice. International Journal of Drug Policy, 108.

McDonald, R., Eide, D., ….. Parkin, S. et al (2022) A rapid assessment of take-home naloxone provision during COVID-19 in Europe. International Journal of Drug Policy, 107.

Neale, J., Parkin, S., Bowen, A., Hermann, L., Kuester, L., Metrebian, N., Roberts, E., Robson, D. & Strang, J., (2022). Information and communication technology (ICT) use amongst people who were housed in emergency hotel accommodation during the COVID-19 pandemic: lessons from a policy initiative. European Journal of Homelessness, 16, 1, 135-161

Parkin S, Locock L, Montgomery C, & Chisholm A., (2021). Team ethnography visual maps: Methods for identifying the ethnographic object in multiple sites of fieldwork. Ethnography.22, (4), 556-577

Brandt, L., Campbell, A., Jones, J., Martinez, S., Neale, J., Parkin, S., Brown, C., Strang, J., and Comer, S. (2021). Emotional reactions of trained overdose responders who use opioids following intervention at an overdose event. Substance Abuse, 43(1):581-591

Parkin, S. and Neale, J., (2021). Experiences of being housed in a London hotel as part of the ‘Everyone In’ initiative. Part 3: Life, nine months, after leaving the hotel. National Addiction Centre, IoPPN, King’s College London.

Parkin, S., Neale, J., Roberts, E., Brobbin, E., Bowen, A., Hermann, L., Dwyer, G., Turner, R., Henderson, J., Kuester, L.B., McDonald, R., Radcliffe, P., Robson, D., Craft, S., Strang, J., and Metrebian, N. (2021). Conducting rapid qualitative research amongst people with experience of rough sleeping in London during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research Methods in Medicine and Health Sciences

Parkin, S., McDonald, R., Eide, D., et al (2021) Rethinking ‘carriage’ of take-home naloxone. International Journal of Drug Policy, 95, September Issue pp1-4.

Parkin, S., and Kimergård, A., (2021) A critical analysis of respondent quotes used as titles of qualitative research papers that are published in peer-reviewed journals. Accountability in Research: Policies and Assurance (March 2021)

Locock, L., Parkin, S., Chisholm, A., and Montgomery, C. (2021). How frontline teams engage with patient-centred quality improvement. Nursing Times [online]; February: 117: 2, 34-36.

Parkin, S., Neale, J., Brown, C., Jones, J., Brandt, L., Castillo, F., Campbell, A., Strang, J. and Comer, S. (2020). A qualitative study of repeat naloxone administrations during opioid overdose intervention by people who use opioids in New York City. International Journal of Drug Policy, Vol 87

Kimergård, A., Parkin, S., Jennings, S., Brobbin, E., Deluca, P. (2020) Identification of factors influencing tampering of codeine containing medicines in England: A qualitative study. Harm Reduction Journal, 17, 63

Neale, J., Kalk, N., Parkin, S., Brown, C., Brandt, L., Campbell, A., Castillo, F., Jones, J.D., Strang, J. and Comer, S. (2020). Factors associated with withdrawal symptoms and anger among people resuscitated from an opioid overdose by take-home naloxone: exploratory mixed methods analysis. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 2020 Oct;117:108099. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2020.108099. Epub 2020 Aug 5.

Roberts, E., Hilyard, M., Hotopf, M., Parkin, S. and Drummond, C. (2020) Access to specialist community alcohol treatment in England, and the relationship with alcohol-related hospitalisation: A qualitative study of service users, service providers and service commissioners. British Journal of Psychology Open, 6, 5, (September)

Kimergård, A., Parkin, S., Brobbin, E., (2020). Semi-Structured Interviews in the Study of Codeine Dependence. Sage Research Methods, Sage Online.

Parkin, S., Montgomery, C., Chisholm, A., and Locock, L., (2020). ‘Team Capital’ in Quality Improvement Teams: Findings from an Ethnographic Study of Frontline Quality Improvement in the NHS. BMJ Open, 9, 2.

Montgomery, C., Chisholm, A., Parkin, S., and Locock, L., (2020). ‘Wild Data’: How Frontline Hospital Staff Make Sense of Patients’ Experiences. Sociology of Health and Illness 31 May 2020

Parkin, S., Neale, J., Brown, C., Campbell, A.N., Castillo, F., Jones, J., Strang, J., and Comer, S. (2020). Opioid overdose reversals using naloxone in New York City by people who use opioids: Implications for public health and overdose harm reduction approaches from a qualitative study. International Journal of Drug Policy 2020, 79.

Locock L, Graham C, King J, Parkin S, Chisholm A, Montgomery C, Gibbons E, Ainley E, Bostock J, Gager M, Churchill N, Dopson S, Greenhalgh T, Martin A, Powell J, Sizmur S and Ziebland S. (2020). Understanding how front-line staff use patient experience data for service improvement: an exploratory case study evaluation. Health Services and Delivery Research, 8, 13.

Locock, L., Montgomery, C., Parkin, S. and Chisholm, A. (2020). How do frontline staff use patient experience data for service improvement? Findings from an ethnographic case study evaluation. Journal of Health Service Research and Policy.

Elvey, R., Bailey, S., Checkland, K., Parkin, S., McBride, A., Hodgson, D. (2018). Implementing new models of primary care: learning from the demonstrator pilot experience. BMC Family Practice, Early Online May 2018

Parkin, S. (2017). Observant participation with people who inject drugs in street-based settings: reflections on an ethnographic method used during applied research. Addiction Research and Theory, 25, 1, 39-47.

Montgomery, C., Chisholm, A., Parkin, S. and Locock, L. (2017). The enactment of collaboration through meetings: insights from the USPex project. (UCL Qualitative Health Research Symposium). BMJ Open, 7, 2.

Bailey, S., Checkland, K., Hodgson, D., McBride, A., Elvey, R., Parkin, S., Rothwell, K., Pierides, D. (2017). The policy work of piloting: Mobilising and managing conflict and ambiguity in the English NHS. Social Science and Medicine, 179 (April 2017) pp210-217.

Parkin, S., (2017) Synthesising qualitative research methods (observation and participation) to provide deeper understandings of substance use: a commentary. Journal of Addiction Research and Therapy, 8, 3.

Checkland, K., Parkin, S., Hodgson, D. and Bailey, S., (2017). Institutional work and innovation in the NHS: the role of creating and disrupting. In McDermott, A., Kitchener, M. and Exworthy, M. (eds.) Managing Improvement in Healthcare: Attaining, sustaining and spreading quality. Palgrave Macmillan Ltd., (pp. 237-254), Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan.

Parkin, S., (2016). Salutogenesis: Contextualising place and space in the policies and politics of recovery from drug dependence (UK). International Journal of Drug Policy, Special Issue (Situating Drugs and Drug Use Geographically). 33, pp21-33.

Parkin, S., (2016). Colliding intervention in the spatial management of street-based injecting and drug-related litter within settings of public convenience (UK). Space and Polity Special Issue. Drugs, law, people, place and the state: ongoing regulation, resistance and change, 20, 1, pp74-96.

Parkin, S. (2011) Identifying and Predicting Drug-Related Harm with Applied Qualitative Research. In Katz, J, Peace, S. and Spurr, S. (eds) Adult Lives: A Life Course Perspective. Policy Press, Bristol.

Parkin, S. and Coomber, R. (2011) Public Injecting Drug Use and the Social Production of Harmful Practice in High-Rise Tower Blocks (London, UK): A Lefebvrian Analysis. Health and Place, 17, 717-726.

Parkin, S., and Coomber, R., (2011). Injecting Drug User Views (and Experiences) of Drug-related Litter Bins in Public Places: A Comparative Study of Qualitative Research Findings Obtained from UK Settings. Health and Place, 17, 1218-1227.

Pearson, M., Parkin, S., Coomber, R., (2011). Generalizing applied qualitative research on harm reduction: the example of a public injecting typology. Contemporary Drug Problems 38, 1, 61-91.

Parkin, S., and Coomber, R. (2010). Fluorescent Blue Lights, Injecting Drug Use and Related Health Risk in Public Conveniences: Findings from a Qualitative Study of Micro-Injecting Environments. Health and Place 16, 629-637.

Parkin, S., and Coomber, R. (2009). Value in the Visual: On Public Injecting, Visual Methods and their Potential for Informing Policy (and Change). Methodological Innovation Online. 4, 2, 21-36

Parkin, S., and Coomber, R. (2009). ‘Informal Sorter Houses’: A Qualitative Insight of the ‘Shooting Gallery’ Phenomenon in a UK Setting. Health and Place, 15, 981-89

Parkin, S., and Coomber, R. (2009). Public Injecting and Symbolic Violence. Addiction Research and Theory, 17, 4, 390-405.

Coomber, R. and Parkin, S. (2008) Drugs and the media. In Shapiro, H., (ed). The Essential Student Reader on Drugs, London, Drugscope (3rd Edition)

Coomber, R. and Parkin, S. (2008) Drug Myths. In Shapiro, H., (ed). The Essential Student Reader on Drugs, London, Drugscope (3rd Edition)

McKeganey, N.P., Neale, J., Parkin, S., and Mills, C., (2004). Communities and Drugs: Beyond the Rhetoric of Community Action. Probation Journal, 51, 4, 343-361.

Parkin, S., and McKeganey, N.P., (2000). The Rise and Rise of Peer Education Approaches. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 7, 3, 293-310


    drug bottles hero
    Drugs Research Group

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


      drug bottles hero
      Drugs Research Group

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