Professor Jonathan Chick

Jonathan Chick MA MPhil DSc MBChB FRCPE FRCPsych graduated from Cambridge University in Natural Science and from Edinburgh University in Medicine. He has worked for the Medical Research Council for Epidemiological Studies in Psychiatry, and as Consultant Psychiatrist, Royal Edinburgh Hospital and Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry University of Edinburgh.

As Honorary Professor, Health Sciences, Edinburgh Napier University, his current research is into the effects of legislation regarding pricing of alcohol. Over previous years he led numerous randomised controlled studies into treatments, both psychological and pharmacological for alcohol problems.

He is the Chief Editor of the international journal Alcohol and Alcoholism. He has been an advisor to the World Health Organisation and government departments in Australia, Canada, USA and Brazil. He was till recently a Non-Alocholic Trustee of the General Services Board of Alcoholics Anonymous, UK.

He is a practising psychiatrist and joined Castle Craig Hospital in 2013 as the new Medical Director.

Evidence of efficacy of pharmacological methods to prevent relapse in alcohol dependence

Published randomised controlled studies of Acamprosate present data on some 3000 patients treated for periods varying between 3 and 12 months with up to 12 months post-medication follow up. Methodological issues about measurement of survival time to the first drink and cumulative abstinence days have been raised. The compound appears safe, but the indications of when and for whom to prescribe it are not yet fully answered. The role of opiate antagonists such as Naltrexone continues to be elucidated in randomised controlled trials which reveal that its efficacy is greatest when alcohol has been consumed at some point during the recovery period, when there is high compliance with medication, and when cognitive behaviour therapy is offered. This paper will attempt to extrapolate to normal clinical practice from these results. Anti depressants are widely prescribed to people with alcohol problems. The evidence for their efficacy, in the absence of primary depression, is equivocal.