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Drug and alcohol research group launched

Published: 17th April 2015

SUBSTANCE use and addictive behaviours will be put under the spotlight as part of a new interdisciplinary group set to influence and inform policy and practitioners.

Researchers from have launched the Substance Use and Addictive Behaviour Group (SUAB), merging world-class knowledge and establishing cross-faculty partnerships.

The group provides a forum to promote the broad range of applied research on substance use at MMU including ongoing work on legal highs, alcohol and older people, mental health and substance use, criminal justice responses to substance use, legal highs, alcohol abuse and curriculum development work for health and social care.

The interdisciplinary group of academics, practice partners and community voices will collaborate to develop new research which can be applied to substance use policy and practice, and underpin research-informed teaching.


Professor Sarah Galvani, Professor of Adult Social Care, explains: “The work we do is geared towards ensuring people in need of services get the best possible service. This means our research needs to be directed towards supporting health and social care professionals to deliver those services and to influence policy.

“The strengths across MMU in substance use and addiction are unrivalled and encompass disciplines in social care, nursing, psychology, chemistry, forensic science, criminology and economics.

“The strength of the SUAB group is in the partnerships we have within MMU across faculties but also with people who deliver and use services. This range of perspectives will help us to ensure the research we do remains current and relevant to the people around us.”

Regular conferences, seminars and knowledge sharing events will be held at MMU and the group is actively seeking ideas and information sharing with policy makers and practitioners regionally and nationally.


Recent research from the group has included new legal high detectors, drugs and the effect on social exclusion, and a national framework for social workers to help support with people with alcohol and drug problems. MMU is also home to the Manchester Centre for Legal Highs.

The launch conference was hosted at the University’s Brooks Building and featured a range of regional substance use and addiction agencies that have partnered SUAB.