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Addictive products, behaviours and systems

NIHR Policy Research Units (PRUs) undertake research to inform government and arms-length bodies making policy decisions about health and social care. The units create a critical mass of experts for research in priority areas for health and social care policy.

The NIHR PRU in Addictions is one of 20 new PRUs across England which were awarded over £100 million in total and commenced 1st January 2024.

The NIHR PRU in Addictions will work with the Department of Health & Social Care and other stakeholders, including professionals and people with lived and living experience of addictive behaviours. It will support identification, analysis, implementation, evaluation and adaptation of policies across the spectrum of prevention, treatment, harm reduction and recovery. There are five main themes:

  • tobacco/nicotine
  • alcohol
  • illicit & other drugs
  • gambling
  • public and patient involvement and engagement

In addition to Professor McNeill, Professor Holmes & Dr Brose, the Addiction Management Team also includes:

  • Jo Neale, PPIE Lead, Professor of Addictions Qualitative Research, King’s College London
  • John Strang, Drugs Lead, Professor of Addiction Psychiatry, King’s College London
  • Heather Wardle, Gambling Lead, Professor of Gambling Research and Policy, Glasgow University
  • Rhys Mason-Dunn, Project Manager 

Other Co-Investigators: 

  • Dr Angela Attwood, Associate Prof. of Psychological Science, Bristol University
  • Alan Brennan, Prof. of Health Economics & Decision Modelling, University of Sheffield
  • Jamie Brown, Prof. of Behavioural Science, University College London
  • Niamh Fitzgerald, Prof. of Alcohol Policy, University of Stirling
  • Dr Tom Freeman, Director of the Addiction & Mental Health Group, University of Bath
  • Paul Lennon, Public Co-Applicant.
  • Mel McManus, Public Co-Applicant
  • Gerda Reith, Prof. of Social Sciences, Glasgow University

Administrative staff: 

  • Rhian Jones, King’s College London
  • Anne Greaves, University of Sheffield

This Policy Research Unit is funded by the NIHR. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.

The NIHR funds, enables and delivers world-leading health and social care research that improves people’s health and wellbeing and promotes economic growth.

Our Partners

King's College London

King's College London


National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

NIHR Addictions 1800

Group leads

Contact us

Addiction Sciences Building (ASB) 
4 Windsor Walk 
King's College London
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN)