Project Twenty21 - April Update

In this update, we reveal the latest data and patient experiences with Project Twenty21, and reveal some exciting news from NICE.  We also announce new events related to the project and how you can get involved. Learn more about Project Twenty21 Last month we asked for your stories, and we’re thrilled with the response we  …

How to Formulate Drug Policies and Provide Evidence-Based Regulation

Authors: Steve Rolles, David Nutt & Anne Schlag Published: April 7, 2021 How do we end the war on drugs? With mounting evidence continuing to expose the failure of the war on drugs, more governments around the world are opening their eyes to consider alternative drug policies. But which drug policy reforms are the best  …

The Supervised Injection Facility Working Group is a consortium of scientific experts, academics, policy makers, treatment providers and advocacy groups, co-operating to reduce the harms of intravenous drug use.


Drug Science believes that there is good real-world evidence for the positive effects of Supervised Injecting Facilities (SIFs) across the globe.

SIFs are known by many names including Supervised Injection Facilities, Overdose Prevention Centres, and Drug Consumption Rooms. There are subtle nuances between these three amenities, however, their function is to provide safe spaces for people to consume controlled drugs under the supervision of people who can save lives if overdoses occur.

Drug Science believes that access to sterile equipment, overdose prevention and treatment benefits both people who use drugs and the wider community.

Drug Science deems it important to develop the evidence base for reducing drug-related harms by piloting SIFs in the UK. This collaborative initiative will evaluate whether establishing SIFs would; prove to be cost effective, reduce crime, improve public health, lessen drug litter, and increase engagement in treatment services.

The Supervised Injection Facility Working Group (SIFWG) is a consortium of Drug Science experts, leading academics, researchers, people who use drugs, and policy specialists. The SIFWG will work with several partners to establish pilot SIFs for evaluation. Furthermore, the group will inform legal reform and produce recommendations to enable the development of the evidence base on SIFs. In addition to this, it will collate and communicate the evidence base on the role of SIFs in reducing drug-related harm.


Academic Experts

Prof Alex Stevens (Chair)

Professor of Criminal Justice

Prof David Nutt

Professor of Neuro-psychopharmacology

Prof Fiona Measham

Chair in Criminology

Prof Lindsay Forbes

Professor of Public Health

Prof Charlie Lloyd

Professor of Social Policy and Criminal Justice

Dr Euan Lawson

Editor of the British Journal of General Practice

Dr Gillian Shorter

Reader in Psychology

Dr Tim Williams

Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist

Dr Magdalena Harris

Associate Professor in the Sociology of Health

Roz Gittins

Drug Science Scientific Committee

Policy Specialists

Dr William Haydock

Advisor, National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Monitoring System

Mat Southwell

Associate Consultant, IDPC

Colleen Daniels

Deputy Director, Harm Reduction International

Jason Kew

Detective Chief Inspector, Thames Valley Police

Martin Powell

Head of Partnerships, Transform

Lucy Strang

Research Associate, Kings College London

Kirstie Douse

Head of Legal Services, Release

Kirsten Horsburgh

Strategy Coordinator, Scottish Drugs Forum

Treatment Provider Representatives

Dr Prun Bijral

Medical Director, Change Grow Live

Felicity Simpkin

Associate Director, With You

Martin Blakebrough

CEO, Kaleidoscope

Charlie Mack

CEO, Cranstoun

Peter Krykant


Lee Wilson

Regional Director, Humankind

Treatment Providers

The Supervised Injection Facility Working Group is supported by treatment providers to ensure that the stakeholders who would be delivering these services are consulted throughout. 

MDMA for Alcohol Use Disorder

In this webinar, Dr Ben Sessa explains how MDMA therapy could treat alcohol use disorder (alcoholism), based on results from his recent safety and tolerability study. He gives background into the psychological trauma which often causes addiction and alcohol use disorder, and how modern psychiatry struggles to treat these conditions at the root cause. He  …

Can a ‘double standard’ in paediatric medicine provide a framework to restructure repressive medical cannabis policies?

By Rayyan Zafar an Honorary Research Assistant for Drug Science Can a ‘double standard’ in paediatric medicine provide a framework to restructure repressive medical cannabis policies? In 2019, a drug called Zolgensma came to market. This drug used a particularly innovative gene therapy technique to treat infants suffering with an extremely rare and catastrophic neuromuscular  …

Charlie Hughes’ family drop their court case against NICE

We are greatly encouraged by the news that NICE updated their guidelines around medical cannabis for children with severe epilepsy. The clinical guidance now clearly states: ‘There is no recommendation against the use of cannabis-based medicinal products’ – meaning that Matt and Ali Hughes were able to drop their court case over the prescribing guidelines  …