Skip navigation |

Research and volunteering

Projects, research and volunteering in the drugs field

This page lists projects and activities that are looking for assistance. Please contact the project involved if you are interested in helping. If your organisation would like to advertise a project here please email the website manager.

If you would like to become a volunteer in the drugs field please see the section on volunteering below.

Projects, courses, activities and opportunities.

University College London Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit (CPU) recruiting heavy smokers looking to quit

The CPU is conducting research into new ways to help people stay quit. If you are planning to quit in the near future and want to take part in this research, please contact us for an information sheet.

Please only email if the following apply to you:

1. You smoke at least 10 cigarettes a day
2. You seriously want to try and quit in the near future
3. You would be willing to try and quit as part of this research
4. You do not have any serious physical or mental illness
5. You can come to UCL (in CENTRAL LONDON) on two occasions around 7-10 days apart
6. You are able to fill out a quick online smoking diary every day

Please email for more information on the study. You will be sent an information sheet and, if you agree to take part, will need to send the CPU an email with a contact telephone number and time to call so they can ask you a few screening questions to check whether you are eligible for study. You will be financially reimbursed for your time.

Research in to acceptability of non-abstinence goals

Harold Rosenberg and Alan K. Davis from Bowling Green State University, Ohio, are conducting research into the acceptability of non-abstinence goals in substance use treatment. They define ‘non-abstinence goals’ (otherwise referred to as moderate drinking and drug taking) as a client limiting how much and how often he or she drinks/takes drugs so that there are few, if any, negative consequences. Previous surveys of British agencies (Robertson & Heather, 1982; Rosenberg, Melville, Levell, & Hodge, 1992; Rosenberg & Melville, 2005) found widespread and consistent acceptance of non-abstinence goals; in contrast, most American treatment agencies surveyed – especially inpatient detoxification, halfway houses and rehabilitation services – reported non-abstinence to be unacceptable as an outcome goal (Rosenberg & Davis, 1994; Rosenberg & Phillips, 2003). As it has been 10 years since the last nationwide survey in the UK addressing the acceptability of non-abstinence goals, the present study is designed to assess the attitudes of drugs workers/key workers in a variety of treatment settings.

This study is being conducted entirely online and the survey materials consist of two parts. In the first part, respondents are asked to rate their views of the acceptability of clients selecting non-abstinence as an intermediate or final outcome goal, depending on the severity of their problem and their drug of choice. They will also be asked to rate the importance of various client characteristics (such as age, legal history, family status, employment) that might influence the acceptability of non-abstinence. The second part of the survey consists of standard questions about the demographic background of the respondent. These questions include gender, age band, educational background, and work setting.

It only takes 15 minutes to read the materials and answer the survey questions, and £2 will be donated to the British Association of Cancer Research for every completed survey. You can access the survey here:

PRISM: DrugScope needs your help to bring good practice to light

The achievements of drug services and projects are rarely reported in the mainstream media and unfortunately bad press can have a negative impact both on those who may need to access services and those who work in the sector. But there is good practice going on across the country that makes a positive difference to users, families and local communities. Unfortunately, we don’t often get the opportunity to share what we are doing or learn from one another's successes. Please see our PRISM page for more information and for how to submit a project.

Volunteering in the drugs field.

Voluntary work in a practice setting is a useful starting point for any career working with drug users and is a good way of gaining experience and testing your ability and motivation for the work. To get a voluntary position you can either contact individual drugs projects in your locality directly, or contact a national umbrella organisation such as the National Centre for Volunteering.

Telephone numbers for local treatment centers can be found in our Helpfinder Database. Helpfinder is DrugScope's database of drug treatment services and provides contact information and basic service provision details for drug treatment and care services in England. It can be used to search for organisations in your area.

Adfam's volunteering toolkit

As part of its work with the Drug Sector Partnership, Adfam has developed a 'Real voices in volunteering' toolkit for use by any volunteer, prospective volunteer, volunteer-manager or prospective volunteer-manager.

It is the first time that generic volunteering material and background information on drugs, alcohol and families has been brought together into one place, illustrated by the real life experiences of recovering substance users, family members and volunteer managers. Throughout the creation of the toolkit, these groups were consulted and their knowledge and expertise used to help make something practical and resonant for the sector.

Download the toolkit here (PDF)

Other useful organisations:

Vinspired aims to make it easy for young people (16-25 yr olds) to find volunteering opportunities in their area.

National Centre for Volunteering
Volunteering England works to support and increase in the quality, quantity, impact and accessibility of volunteering throughout England.

Do It
This site provides details of volunteering opportunities throughout the UK and is powered by a large on-line database of current vacancies. Do-It allows users to search by postcode, type of organisation and type of work. The site has a section on volunteering in the drugs field.

This BBC supported campaign gives you the opportunity to share your time and skills with your community. The site allows you to register your details in order to receive a list of organisations in your area that need help, and which match your interests.

National Association of Voluntary Service Managers
NAVSM is the national association for Voluntary Service Managers in the fields of health and social care. It has a section on opportunities for volunteers.

Society Guardian – Volunteering section
Up to date news coverage on volunteering issues from the on-line version of The Guardian newspaper.

Do you have a project or activity you'd like help with? Contact Jackie Buckle to advertise it here.