Dr Dima Abdulrahim gained her PhD in 1991 from the University of Exeter. She is currently working for the Addiction and Offender Care Directorate of Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, managing a programme on BBV-related interventions in substance misuse services.
Dima has been working in the field of drug misuse treatment for over 15 years. This includes work for the National Treatment Agency, the Substance Misuse Advisory Service (Health Advisory Service), the Drugs Advisory Service Haringey and the Department of Psychology of the University of East London. Dima was a member of the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs from 1991 to 2010.
Dr Roland Archer is Guernsey’s States Analyst, he runs a state-of-the-art analytical laboratory and is responsible for analysing drugs seized locally. He is highly regarded in his field as an independent expert on drug identification, and regularly advises the courts during drug-related cases. Dr Archer also gives technical advice on Guernsey legislation relating to drugs, and acts as an expert witness in local and UK courts.
A medicinal chemist with over 19 years’ experience, he is particularly skilled at identifying potential new substances of abuse which have been designed by people seeking to circumvent drug legislation. A particular area of interest for Dr Archer is illicit drug manufacture, he assesses whether a drug may be synthesised illicitly by evaluating the difficulty, time and cost of production using commercially available precursors. He also has an interest in the application of quantum chemistry to predict the outcome of competing reactions during drug synthesis to identify impurity profiles of illicit substances.
He has authored over 20 peer-reviewed articles, and is a member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences and The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Dr Simon Brandt is a Reader in Bioactive Drug Chemistry at the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences within Liverpool John Moores University. His research activities and interests focus on the chemistry, analytical and pharmacological properties of psychoactive substances, drugs of abuse and so-called designer drugs, within the context of psychopharmacology, psychiatry, forensic sciences and public health. Dr Brandt obtained a German Diploma in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology with further specialisation in cell structures and pharmacology/toxicology at the University of Hamburg. He holds a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from The University of Manchester (formerly UMIST, United Kingdom).
Dr Brandt serves as an Associate Editor of the Wiley Journal Drug Testing and Analysis and as scientific advisor and extended Member of the Scientific Committee of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). Simon also served as a Temporary Advisor to the WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence.
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Eric Carlin is currently undertaking PhD research at Birkbeck College, University of London about how young, socially disadvantaged people can succeed in spite of the odds, and is also project director at SHAAP (the Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems). Eric also represents the International Mentor Foundation at the United Nations in Vienna. In 2008 he undertook research to inform the United Nations' Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs as it seeks to improve civic society's engagement with the United Nations. He has twice been elected Vice Chair of this Committee and continues in this role and has three times been elected as Chair of the English Drug Education Forum. From 2000 to 2009 Eric was Chief Executive of Mentor UK, the charity which focuses on developing effective drug misuse prevention activities. Prior to that, from 2005, he was Chief Executive of Angel Drug Services, a London-based street drugs agency. From January 2008 to April 2010 Eric was a member of the UK Government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD). Eric's previous work experience has included developing community participation in planning and delivering Health and Social Services and setting up joint planning systems to deliver Community Care services. He has also managed local HIV prevention and treatment services and an international HIV prevention project for the British Red Cross.
Professor Val Curran's interests span across a wide area of psychopharmacology. Her research is in human experimental, cognitive and clinical psychopharmacology and currently has 4 main foci: 1) transitions from substance use to misuse to addiction to recovery and relapse; 2) neurochemical bases of psychotic symptoms; 3) the differential effects of various cannabinoids upon cognitive, emotional and dependence-related processing; 4) the short and long-term effects of 'recreational' drugs (e.g. alcohol, mephedrone, 'ecstasy', cannabis, ketamine) on cognition, emotion and the brain. Professor Curran was an undergraduate at Cambridge, did her PhD at London University and qualified as a Clinical Psychologist. She went from Research Fellow through to Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry from 1984-1995 and since then has worked at UCL. She set up the UCL Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit in 1996 and was appointed Professor of Psychopharmacology in 2000. Val is also Research Lead at the Substance Misuse Services at a Mental Health NHS Trust. She has been a Principal Editor of the journal 'Psychopharmacology' since 2003.
Professor Colin Drummond is Professor of Addiction Psychiatry at the National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, and has over 20 years of experience in alcohol misuse research, primarily epidemiological, health service and public health research. He is Chief Investigator for the UK Department of Health National Screening and Brief Intervention Research Programme (SIPS). He chaired the alcohol treatment guideline development group for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Professor Drummond is also an advisor to the UK Department of Health and National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse and is a member of the World Health Organisation’s Expert Committee on Drug and Alcohol Problems. His work has included the development of Models of Care, the national framework for drug and alcohol services in England.
Dr Simon Elliott is a Consultant Forensic Toxicologist and Managing Director of ROAR Forensics Ltd in Malvern, Worcestershire since January 2008. He has previously worked as a Clinical Scientist in the NHS for 10 years specifically involved in clinical and forensic toxicology as Section Head of Forensic Toxicology. He holds a BSc degree in Biochemistry from the University of Bath and a PhD in Biochemical Toxicology from the University of Birmingham. Simon is a Chartered Scientist and European Registered Toxicologist as well as being an active member of a number of professional bodies, including the Forensic Science Society and Royal Society of Chemistry. He is the author of over 30 scientific publications and articles and has presented cases at international meetings and presented evidence in both Civil and Criminal Courts. He has also advised the World Health Organisation and European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.
Professor Barry Everitt FRS is Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge. He is one of the world’s leading researchers on the neural and psychological mechanisms underlying drug addiction. His recent research concerns the neural basis of compulsive drug taking and vulnerability to addiction as well as the development of novel treatments targeting the aberrant memories that lead to relapse.
Dr Martin Frisher is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Pharmacy at Keele University. He gained his Ph.D in 1987 and has since published over 100 papers in two main areas: 1) Addiction research and 2) General Practice consultation data. He developed techniques for estimating the size of drug using populations, modelling HIV risk behaviours and analysing risk factors for problematic drug use, and pioneered the use of the General Practice Database for medicines management research.
Martin teaches research methods, communication skills and about the psychology of addiction. He represented the UK Government on the Scientific Board of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) from 2000-2003 and is currently working with the EMCDDA to develop methods of overdose prevention.
Patrick Hargreaves is a school inspector, and a regional PSHE adviser. For 10 years, he was the Drugs and Alcohol Adviser with County Durham Children & Young Peoples’ Services where he was responsible for the delivery of drug and alcohol education to children and young people both in and out of school and for the quality of policies across County Durham's Children & Young People’s settings. He is now independent. He is a member of Drugscope, Alcohol Concern, the Drugs Education Forum, the PSHE Association and NSCoPSE, the national PSE association for advisers, inspectors and consultants. He sat on the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs for 5 years until he resigned in December 2010. He regularly works with the Department for Education and Home Office on educational matters. Previously he has worked in the care system, as a youth worker, taught in all phases of education including special education both in the UK and overseas and set up and managed a Pupil Referral Unit for permanently excluded young people.
Graeme Henderson FBPharmcolS is professor of Pharmacology at the University of Bristol.
His research is mainly concerned with the acute and chronic actions of opioid drugs in the brain at the molecular, cellular and behavioural levels. He is an editor of Current Opinion in Pharmacology and an author of a general pharmacology textbook, Rang & Dale's Pharmacology 7th Edition.
Dr John Marsden is a Reader in Addiction Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. A senior member of the Department of Addictions, John is Regional Editor for Europe, Africa and Asia for the scientific journal Addiction and a former member of the UK Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. His research interests focus on the development and evaluation of treatments for addiction.
Fiona Measham is Professor of Criminology in the School of Applied Social Sciences at Durham University. Fiona has conducted research for over two decades across a broad area of criminology and social policy, exploring changing trends in legal and illegal drugs; the night time economy and the wider socio-cultural context to consumption. Fiona was appointed to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs in 2009. She is also Director of The Loop, a not-for-profit drug and alcohol service that introduced the first UK 'front of house' on-site drug testing for public safety in 2016. Read an interview with her in Time Out.
David Nutt DM, FRCP, FRCPsych, FMedSci, Chair of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, is the Edmund J Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and Head of the Department of Neuropsychopharmacology and Molecular Imaging at Imperial College London. David is President of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP), UK Director of the ‘European Certificate in Anxiety and Mood Disorders’ and the ‘Masters in Affective Disorders’ Courses jointly administered by the Universities of Maastricht, Bristol and Florence. In addition, he is the Editor of the Journal of Psychopharmacology, advisor to the British National Formulary and on the MRC Neuroscience Board. Amongst many other appointments, David has previously been Chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD). In 2004-2005 he was the clinical scientific lead on the UK Government Foresight initiative “Brain science, addiction and drugs” that provided a 25-year vision for this area of science and public policy. He broadcasts widely to the general public both on radio and television and also lectures widely to the scientific and medical communities.
Dr Rhys Ponton is a pharmacist with a special interest and extensive work experience in the field of substance misuse. He began work in the field in 1998 with a position at The South London and Maudsley Hospital. Following this, he undertook a Ph.D at the University of Bath investigate the techniques used by drug users to prepare heroin and crack cocaine for injection in order to assess the risks posed by injections made using these methods. In 2006, he took up a position at Bristol Specialist Drug Service where he qualified as a pharmacist independent prescriber in drug treatment.
In 2008, he moved to Plymouth, Devon where his role involved medicines management services and implementing legislation surrounding the use of controlled drugs following the changes introduced after the inquiry into the activities of Harold Shipman.
He is currently spending his time between the UK and New Zealand, whilst working in a number of roles for the NHS, the UK Prison Service and as an independent consultant for substance misuse services. He is involved with a number of academic institutions to oversee and facilitate courses relating to substance misuse for undergraduates as well as pharmacists currently working in practice. He also sits on the steering committee of the Pharmacy Misuse Advisory Group (PharMAG) which aims to promote the role of pharmacists in the field of substance misuse.
Dr Ian Ragan is an independent consultant in the life sciences. Previously Executive Director of Neuroscience Research, Europe, for Eli Lilly, and Executive Director of the European Brain Council, he is currently working for the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) and the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing. He is also a trustee of the autism research charity, Autistica.
Dr John Ramsey is an analytical toxicologist and Director of TICTAC Communications Ltd. at St. George’s University of London (SGUL). TICTAC is a commercial database used by UK Healthcare and Law & Order professional to identify drugs. TICTAC analyses the contents of club amnesty bins, attends outdoor music festivals, and test purchases drugs from websites and head shops in order to monitor the appearance on new compounds used as drugs. John is a founder member of the team at SGUL that monitors mortality from volatile substance abuse.
Steve Rolles is Senior Policy Analyst for Transform Drug Policy Foundation, a UK based think tank and charity focused on drug policy and law reform. Lead author on a range of Transform publications including 2009’s ‘After the War on Drugs: Blueprint for Regulation’, Steve has been a regular contributor to the public debate on drug policy and law for over 15 years; in the media, at UK and international events, and at various UN and Government forums around the world. Steve was recently an adviser for the Uruguayan Government in developing their new cannabis regulation model, and was also lead drafter and technical coordinator for the recent ‘Taking control: Pathways to Drug Polices that Work’ report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy. Previously Steve worked for Oxfam and the Medical Research Council, having studied for his Geography BSc at Bristol University and Development Studies MSc at Manchester University.
Ilina Singh is Professor of Science, Ethics & Society at Kings College London. Her work examines the psycho-social and ethical implications of advances in biomedicine and neuroscience for young people and families. Her research has several goals: To investigate the benefits and risks of biomedical and neuroscience technologies for children and young people; to enable evidence-based policy-making in child health and education; and to bring social theory and ethical insights into better alignment with children’s developmental capacities. Ilina is Co-Editor of the journal BioSocieties, and is on the Editorial Board of The American Journal of Bioethics-Neuroscience.
Dr Polly Taylor is a veterinary surgeon who graduated in 1976. After a few years in general practice, Polly specialised in anaesthesia, becoming Reader in Anaesthesia in the Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge. In 2002 she became an independent consultant in Veterinary Anaesthesia, dividing her time between clinical anaesthesia, teaching for Continued Professional Development, anaesthesia for research, and drug registration.
Dr Tim Williams is a consultant addiction psychiatrist within the NHS and honorary clinical lecturer with the University of Bristol. He has published papers on the biological basis of drug and alcohol addiction and written risk assessment documents on ketamine, khat, and GBL. His continuing research is investigating the clinical risk factors that lead to sudden death in drug and alcohol users.