Professor Colin Drummond

Professor of Addiction Psychiatry, Head of the Alcohol Research Group, and Consultant Psychiatrist at the National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Trained in medicine in Glasgow and completed psychiatry training at the Maudsley Hospital in London. Principal investigator on several research grants from the Department of Health, National Institute for Health Research, the Medical Research Council and the European Commission, including the DH funded national alcohol needs assessment project and a national research programme on alcohol screening and brief intervention (SIPS). Provided advice to governments on alcohol and drug misuse strategy. Member of the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence and Alcohol Problems, and Chair of the NICE guideline development group on management of harmful drinking and alcohol dependence. Past Chair of the Addictions Faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and Chair of the Medical Council on Alcohol. Member of the Public Health England Alcohol Leadership Board and Chair of the Public Health England Alcohol Treatment Expert Group. National Professional Adviser in Substance Misuse, Care Quality Commission. Leads alcohol research within the South London NIHR CLAHRC. NIHR senior investigator award 2017.

The behavioural approaches to understanding and treating dependence

Relapse following addiction treatment is high across a range of substances, with up to 90% having at least one lapse during the year following initial cessation of substance use. Cognitive behavioural theories have been proposed to explain dependence and relapse, and a variety of treatment approaches based on these theories have been developed. This paper will describe and contrast the main theoretical models (conditioning and social theory) and examine the empirical evidence of the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural treatments (CBT) in substance dependence. It is concluded that there is evidence to support the efficacy of CBT in substance dependence. However, more research is needed to establish the effectiveness and, particularly cost effectiveness of these approaches. Further, the key active ingredients of effective treatment are still to be fully understood. Finally, this paper will report on a new UK multicentre RCT of CBT in opiate dependent patients, currently in progress.