Substance use across the life span: Theme leads: Rachel Herring and Helen Gleeson

Substance use is not confined to one age or social group, indeed it is a feature of the lives of many people of different ages and stages of life and exploring substance use across the life span and among diverse social groups can further understanding of substance use and misuse.


The Centre’s work includes research on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups, for example, an examination of pathways through alcohol treatment for Polish men and women and a review of alcohol problems and interventions for BAME communities. Our work has explored substance use amongst different age groups, including work on young people who drink little or not at all and older people who experience problems with substance use in later life . We are currently undertaking a series of systematic reviews investigating patterns of substance use amongst LGBT+ groups (including by age, geographical location and government policy) and the ways that treatment services are responding to their needs.

To find out more about the work we have done please take a look at our publications.

Current and recent research

  1. Pennay A, Livingston M., Maclean S (La Trobe University, Australia), Lubman D., Dietze P. (Monash University, Australia), Holmes J. (University of Sheffield, UK), Herring R. (Middlesex University, UK) An examination of the factors shaping recent developments in youth drinking. Funded: Australian Research Council, 2017-2020.
  2. Gleeson H., Thom B., Bayley M. and McQuarrie T. Rapid Evidence Review: Drinking problems and interventions in black and minority ethnic communities. Funded: Alcohol Change UK, 2019
  3. Herring, R., Bayley, M. and Gleeson, H. Exploring pathways through and beyond alcohol treatment among Polish women and men in a London Borough. Funded: Alcohol Change UK, 2017-2019.
  4. Bell, L., Herring, R. and Annand F. Fathers and substance misuse: a scoping review. Middlesex Department of Mental Health, Social Work and Integrative Medicine Small Grant Programme, 2016-2017.