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Our Researchers

Professor John Strang

61-thumbnail.jpgAction on Addiction funded the first ever endowed Professorial Chair in the Psychiatry of the Addictions in the UK, based at the National Addiction Centre (NAC), part of King's Health Partners. Under John Strang's leadership the NAC is the most productive research institute in Europe.

He is one of the leading experts in addiction and influences policy on a national and international level by acting as an advisor to the UK Government and other national strategies..

Professor Strang leads the research activities at the NAC, and is also Clinical Director of the Drug and Alcohol Services, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust.

Professor Strang has published more than 200 research reports and other articles in scientific journals and book chapters in the Addictions field, and has edited four books on this subject. In his capacity as Consultant Advisor to the Department of Health he chaired the Working Group that prepared the "Orange Book" Guidelines published in 1999 by the Department of Health. He is the Clinical Director on the RIOTT trial (Randomised Injectable Opiate Treatment Trial) which treats heroin addicts who have failed to respond to conventional opiate treatment.

His research interests include health service research, epidemiology, public policy, and opiate treatment, controlled treatment trials; transitions in route of drug use studies of generic service providers and barriers to greater involvement; characteristics of non-treatment samples and unmet health need.

The results of the RIOTT study were published in the Lancet in May 2010.

Dr Patricia Conrod

62-thumbnail.jpgA clinical psychologist, Dr Conrod was the first Action on Addiction Research Fellow.

Her research interests include developing interventions to help young people, women and alcohol, children of alcoholics, dual diagnosis, and substance abuse problems in the elderly.

Someone's personality affects every aspect of their day-to-day life, their relationships, their choices and their experiences. It will also influence whether they develop an addiction. Dr Patricia Conrod developed a prevention programme called 'Preventure' to help young people cope with their personalities so that are less likely to turn to alcohol, drugs or other reckless behaviour. This programme has been the most successful UK drug and alcohol prevention work with young people.

The 'Adventure' study showed that trained school staff were as equally as effective as psychologists in delivering the 'Preventure' programme in schools.

Adventure study results

Dr Conrod is currently based in Montreal, Canada but is in regular contact with the National Addiction Centre.

There are a number of journal papers from the 'Preventure study. Please contact amanda.thomson@actiononaddiction.org.uk for these.

Natalie Castellanos

113-1column.jpgNatalie worked with Dr. Patricia Conrod on the Preventure study which is a drug prevention programme for teenagers, based on their personality type.

Natalie has carried out interventions in secondary state schools throughout London and analysed the data.

Natalie is also based in Montreal, Canada, but is contact with the National Addiction Centre.

Dr Victoria Manning

112-1column.jpgDr Victoria Manning is a Research Fellow and honorary lecturer at the at the National Addiction Centre and has over the past ten years worked on a broad range of addiction research projects with clinical and non-clinical populations.

She is a chartered psychologist, has a masters degree in health psychology and a PhD in neuropsychological impairment in schizophrenia and addiction. Her research interests include dual diagnosis, the impact of substance use on brain function and peer-recovery networks.

Victoria examined the acceptability of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous among young substance users. She has done a 'Recovery Coach' study, looking at whether having a 'recovery coach' - a peer who has gone through the AA/NA process already - is helpful in the recovery process. Victoria has also analysed national databases to investigate the profile of harm caused to the children of substance-misusing parents. The study findings were launched at the House of Lords and New Estimates of the Number of Children Living with Substance Misusing Parents Results from UK National Household Surveys was published in BMC Public Health in October 2009

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