The Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (DARC) is a multi-disciplinary Centre engaging staff with social science, health, social care and humanities backgrounds across the Faculties of Professional and Social Sciences and of Science and Technology.

The Centre builds on a long tradition of cutting edge research and promotes the ‘golden circle’ of linked research, teaching and knowledge exchange. It has created a network of Affiliated Staff who contribute to research and teaching. DARC has also established research relationships with practice organisations, through linked Associates to further co-production approaches and incorporate knowledge from practice more centrally in our work.

DARC conducts high quality research which aims to contribute to knowledge and understanding of drug and alcohol use, patterns of use and how use differs across cultures and countries and over time. We have developed a range of research themes: Treatment and service delivery; Substance use and the criminal justice system; Prevention and early intervention; Workforce development; Substance use across the life span; Quality improvement and best practice.

The research generates a range of high quality publications including books, journal papers and reports. Open seminars, conferences and events are arranged providing opportunities for staff, students, service users and community members to find out about the Centre’s research and to engage in discussion about current issues in substance use and substance-related problems.

DARC supports postgraduate research students and two Masters programmes; staff teach methodology across on a range of programmes.


Webinar dates for the diary: Booking instructions will be added shortly.

Wed 20th Jan 1-2pm – watch the recording

Katie Anderson, Middlesex University: ‘We were just partying and then it turned into a therapy session’: The experiences of couples who take MDMA together.

MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine or ‘ecstasy’) is well-known for its prosocial effects however, there has been very limited research examining MDMA’s impact on couple relationships. Qualitative couple interviews (n=20) and written diaries (n=8) were analysed using a thematic approach. Three overarching themes emerged: an ‘emotional bubble’; new subjectivities; and the construction of boundaries. Implications for drug theory and practice are discussed

Wed 17th Feb 1-2pm

Claire Melia, Middlesex University: Language matters: Contemporary discursive constructions of alcohol use. This talk draws upon research surrounding the prominent discourses used to account for alcohol use across a range of contexts. Analysis considers the impact of these constructions in attributing blame and the associated stigma for alcohol use issues.

Wed 17th March 1-2pm

James Morris, LondonSouth Bank University: Why harmful drinkers reject change: coping and cognition in maintaining heavy drinking

See information about our past events.

DARC Co-Directors

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