Drugs, Alcohol and Addictive Behaviours

This research theme focuses on work around identification and intervention for legal and illicit substance use and misuse, and encompasses other addictive behaviours such as gambling. 

Our activity is based on research that has clear relevance to reducing drug, alcohol or gambling-related harms.

We have a number of externally funded projects and related postgraduate researchers. Our recent portfolio of activity includes:

  1. The use of smartphone / wearable tech to monitor and intervene with opiate users (NHS funded)
  2. Identification & Brief Advice (alcohol) for adolescents in ED settings (NIHR funded)
  3. Identification & Brief Advice (alcohol) in CJS settings (University of Surrey funded)
  4. Substance use in the independent schools sector (MSc)
  5. Inoculation against binge drinking (PhD)
  6. Gambling and Social Responsibility messages (PhD) 

Our work is disseminated through a variety of outputs (edited books, peer reviewed journals, conference presentations, broadcast / social media) and creates impact through citations in treatment and policy guidelines, briefing papers and evidence updates.

We utilise both quantitative and qualitative research approaches and have a track record of carrying out research collaboratively with colleagues outside the School of Psychology – locally, nationally and internationally.


Patton R, & Green G. 2017. Alcohol screening and intervention in English Emergency Departments. Emergency Medicine Journal. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2016-206467 [1.84] (Q1)

Coulton S, Deluca P, Patton R et al. 2017. Screening for at-risk alcohol consumption in primary care: a randomised evaluation of screening approaches, Alcohol & Alcoholism. 52(3):312-317 DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/alcalc/agx017 [2.72] (Q1)

Donoghue K, Deluca P, Patton R et al. 2017. Alcohol consumption, early onset drinking and health-related consequences in adolescents presenting to Emergency Departments, Journal of Adolescent Health. 60(4):438-446 DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.11.017 [4.14] (Q1) 

Patton R. & Boniface S. 2015. Prevalence of hazardous drinking among UK 18-35 year olds; the impact of a revision to the AUDIT cut score. Alcohol & Alcoholism. 51(3):281-282 DOI:http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/10/03/alcalc.agv115 [2.72] (Q1)

Deluca P, Coulton S, Patton R et al. 2015. Linked randomised controlled trials of face-to-face and electronic brief intervention methods to prevent alcohol related harm in young people aged 14–17 years presenting to Emergency Departments (SIPS junior). BMC Public Health. 15:345. DOI:10.1186/s12889-015-1679-4 [2.32] (Q1)

Rahim M. & Patton R. 2015. The association between shame and substance use in young people: a Systematic Review. PeerJ. DOI:10.7717/peerj.737 [2.1] (Q1)

Patton R. & Donoghue K. 2014. Web-delivered personalised normative feedback for college students on alcohol consumption and sexual situations reduces alcohol-related risky sexual behaviour. Evidence Based Nursing. 18(3): 84 DOI:10.1136/eb-2014-101942 [0.75] (Q3)

Newbury-Birch D, Coulton S, Patton R et al. 2014. Alcohol screening and brief interventions for offenders in the probation setting (SIPS Trial):  a pragmatic multicentre cluster randomised controlled trial. Alcohol & Alcoholism. DOI:10.1093/alcalc/agu046 [2.72] (Q1)

Donoghue K, Patton R, Phillips T, Deluca P & Drummond C. 2014. The effectiveness of electronic Screening and Brief Intervention (eSBI) for reducing levels of alcohol consumption.  A Systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Internet Medical Research. 16(6):e142. DOI:10.2196/jmir.3193 [5.58] (Q1)

Deluca P, Coulton S, Patton R et al. 2014, The effectiveness of alcohol screening and brief intervention in emergency departments: a multicentre pragmatic cluster RCT. PLoS ONE. 9(6):e99463. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0099463  [3.73] (Q1)

Patton R. 2014. Alcohol related presentations to the emergency department among young people: some concerns. Emergency Medicine Journal. 31(3): 255. DOI:10.1136/emermed-2013-203317 [1.84] (Q1)

Patton R & Marshall EJ, 2014, Physician heal thyself: Results from a single hospital pilot survey of alcohol consumption among general hospital patients and staff. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. 75(1):189-190 [2.61] (Q1)

Patton R, Deluca P, Phillips T, Kaner E, Newbury-Birch D & Drummond C. 2014. Alcohol screening & brief intervention for adolescents: The how, what and where of reducing alcohol consumption and related harm among young people. Alcohol & Alcoholism. 49(2): 207-212   DOI:10.1093/alcalc/agt165 [3.15] (Q1)

External Collaborators

Name Institution
Christos Kouimtsidis  SABP NHS Trust, Imperial College London, Predicticare (USA) Inc.
Mr Clive Tobutt University of Westminster
Grant Devilly  Griffith University
Colin Drummond Kings College London
Heather Gage School of Economics, University of Surrey

Find us

School of Psychology
Elizabeth Fry building
University of Surrey