Alcohol, drugs, gambling and addiction research

The aim of the Alcohol, Drugs, Gambling and Addiction research group is to carry out, and disseminate the results of research into the consumption of alcohol and other drugs, and involvement in other potentially addictive behaviours such as gambling.

People drinking and smokingResearch undertaken by the Group may focus on consumption or activity which is unexceptional, or on behaviour which is excessive. To be undertaken by the Group, research must have clear relevance for either the prevention or treatment of alcohol, drug or gambling-related harm, or other similar forms of difficulty. The group has pursued this aim by carrying out research situated both in the clinic and in the community, drawing upon both clinical psychology and applied social/community psychology traditions. The Group has particular experience of research into the family aspects of alcohol and drug use and intends to preserve this as one emphasis.

The Group studies various aspects of alcohol, drugs and gambling use and addiction, from clinical and community perspectives. The group’s research includes: a longitudinal study of untreated heavy drinkers; studies of how families cope with alcohol, drugs and gambling problems; the development and evaluation of psychosocial approaches to help those with alcohol and drug problems and their families in specialist and primary care settings; the use of social networks in the treatment of addictive behaviours; academic advice to the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) (London) for the British Gambling Prevalence Surveys.


Wherever possible the Group’s work combines quantitative and qualitative research approaches; the Group has a tradition of carrying out research collaboratively with colleagues outside the School of Psychology – locally, nationally and internationally; the Group will continue to seek, and hopefully obtain, research contracts with Research Councils, Government Departments, charitable organisations, and others; the Group will aim to develop that side of its work that involves disseminating findings and conclusions to a variety of audiences and efforts to influence policy, particularly UK Government policy.