South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust - Research - National Addiction Centre

National Addiction Centre

In partnership with the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, the Trust runs the National Addiction Centre (NAC), which aims to develop new treatment services for alcohol, smoking and drug problems. This work ranges from trials of new therapies and preventative treatments, to studies seeking to understand the genetic and biological basis of addictive behaviour.

An examples of research in this field is the Randomised Injecting Opioid Treatment Trial (RIOTT), a major scientific trial to evaluate a new style of treatment for people with the most severely entrenched heroin addiction. The trial involved use of using supervised injection of methadone and diamorphine, under controlled clinical conditions. It showed that it is possible to engage and retain in treatment some of the most entrenched hard-to-treat heroin addicts for whom previous treatment, rehabilitation and prison appear to have had little beneficial impact.

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