King’s College London

Since 2014 the Pilgrim Trust has contributed £343,000 to support the work of Professor Sir John Strang and Professor Jo Neale from the National Addiction Centre, King’s College London. They have been undertaking a programme of qualitative research to better understand treatment and recovery amongst people experiencing problems with alcohol and other drugs.

The work programme at Kings College has been diverse and involved case studies relating to injectable opioid treatment, trauma-informed women-only residential treatment, Welcome Houses within residential treatment, overdose education and naloxone prescribing to heroin users, personal budgets for people with multiple and complex needs, and new opioid treatment bio-delivery systems such as implants and depot injections.

In addition to the above studies, the funding received from the Pilgrim Trust has contributed to the support of five PhD and several MSc students. It has also enabled the centre to build a small team of qualitative researchers within the National Addiction Centre; host PhD students from the University of Southern Denmark (Odense, Denmark) and the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia); run face-to-face and online qualitative journal clubs for students, researchers and clinicians; and develop collaborative projects with biomedical and social scientists from Columbia University (New York, United States) and Curtin University (Melbourne, Australia). Beyond this, the programme has supported an existing group of addiction service users to write short publications on paying participants in addiction research, barriers to naloxone implementation, and conducting collaborative research with people who use substances.

The work programme is on-going but has already allowed the Institute of Psychiatry to raise some probing and challenging questions, such as, do women with complex alcohol and other drug histories want to be treated in women-only services? Can we give people in treatment personal budgets or financial incentives to reduce their substance use or recover?, Do people support each other in residential treatment?, Why do pharmacological trials for illicit opioid use fail to recruit?, and Do opioid users want to receive medication via depot injections or implants? To read more about the institute findings follow the links below.

Neale, J., Bouteloup, A., Getty, M., Hogan, C., Lennon, P., Mc Cusker, M., and Strang, J. (2017) ‘Why we should conduct research in collaboration with people who use alcohol and other drugs’, Editorial, Addiction 112, 2084-2085.

Tompkins, C. and Neale, J. (2018) ‘Delivering trauma-informed treatment in a women-only residential rehabilitation service: qualitative study’, Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy 25, 47-55.

Neale, J., Tompkins, C., Marshall, A., Treloar, C. and Strang, J. (2018) Do women with complex alcohol and other drug use histories want women-only residential treatment?

Further Reading

Image with kind permission of The National Addiction Centre