Personal profile

Research interests

Professor Sir John Strang is one of only six senior addictions researchers outside North America identified by ISI (the Institute for Scientific Analysis) as a “Highly Cited Author” with a rate of citation in the “top one half of one percent of all publishing researchers in the last two decades”. (N.B. Two of the other ‘Highly Cited Authors” are also substantive or emeritus/honorary professors in the Addictions Department – Professor Michael Gossop and Professor Wayne Hall).  He has published extensively in the addictions field, with more than 500 publications, and is Head of the Addictions Department.

Professor Sir Strang is Head of the Addictions Department and is also Leader of the Addictions CAG (Clinical Academic Group) of Kings Health Partners AHSC (Academic Health Science Centre).  He also has extensive experience as a Lead Clinician in charge of a wide range of treatments in community and residential settings and has been a Consultant Psychiatrist in addictions treatment for over 30 years.


Professor Sir Strang also provides the overall leadership for the Addictions CAG (Clinical Academic Group) within King's Health Partners, and forms one of the core areas of the Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC).  This brings together university partners King's College London with the NHS from South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, King's College Hospital, and Guy's and St Thomas's.  The Addictions CAG, along with other mental health CAGs, is distinctive within King’s Health Partners for crossing the divide between physical and mental health.

The Addictions Department itself is hugely productive.  The highly influential report by RAND Europe rates Substance Abuse Research at the National Addiction Centre as leading the field in UK Universities.  Through its analyses of the share of Highly Cited Publications over a 10-year period (2002-2011) by subject and university, RAND Europe scores our Addictions (Substance Abuse) publications as leading the field at 13%, with all other institutions except two scoring under 5%. 

Professor Sir Strang has chaired and/or served on key committees or guidelines groups for the Department of Health, for NICE (the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence) and for the World Health Organisation (WHO).  This provides opportunity to bring relevant evidence from new scientific studies and systematic reviews to the policy-making work of these committees.


Professor Sir Strang trained as a medical doctor (MBBS) and then specialised in psychiatry – first at Guy’s and then at the Maudsley.  He has worked in the addictions field since the mid-1970s.  He became a consultant addictions psychiatrist in Manchester in 1982, and since 1986, at the Maudsley in London.  In 1995, he completed his thesis-based Higher Degree (MD) at the University of London.


Current research interests include: new analyses of impact of public policy; potential approaches involving family members and take-home emergency naloxone to prevent heroin-overdose deaths; incentive-based interventions to improve treatment effectiveness in reducing drug use and associated harms; clinical trials of potential new pharmacotherapies and behavioural and psychological therapies in the addictions field; investigations of supervised injecting clinics for managing entrenched heroin addicts who cannot otherwise be engaged in treatment.

Research interests (short)

Contingency Management, Medication Trials, Naloxone, Heroin

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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