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Addiction research: the next steps

Thursday 21 January 2010 The British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1

Panel discussion, convened by the Medical Research Council, chaired by Professor Sir Michael Marmot FBA FMedSci, and introduced by Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz FRS FMedSci

Addiction and substance misuse are major medical, social and economic problems for the UK. Continued use of illegal drugs, the misuse of alcohol and problems caused by gambling often result in devastating effects on both individuals and families. Young people are especially vulnerable.

The MRC is leading a strategy for research into addiction and substance misuse in an unprecedented effort to address these problems. It has been developed on behalf of the Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research and is being implemented in partnership with the ESRC. The strategy brings together experts from many disciplines to work towards a common aim, with key stakeholders, including government departments, engaged in ongoing consultation. Speakers will give an overview of the strategy; why it was launched and its strategic aims, followed by details of the specific research areas to be investigated as part of this initiative.

The speakers:

Sir Leszek Borysiewicz FRS FMedSCi, Chief Executive of the MRC: Introduction

Professor David Leon, Professor of Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Chair of the academic group overseeing the strategy Strategy for Addiction and Substance Misuse Research

Dr Tim Millar, National Drug Evidence Centre, Health Methodology Research Group, University of Manchester Understanding the harms of substance misuse

Professor Colin Drummond, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London Alcohol misuse: providing evidence to inform policy

Professor David Nutt FMedSci, Department of Neuropsychpharmacology and Molecular Imaging, Imperial College London New interventions and treatment targets

The discussion was chaired by Professor Sir Michael Marmot FBA FMedSci, Director of the International Institute for Society and Health at University College London.