I studied medicine between 1982 and 1998, with an intercalated degree (Cambridge University) in Social and Political Sciences. After qualification, I did initial medical and surgical jobs in gastroenterology and ear, nose, and throat surgery, both of which involved a lot of contact with patients who had problems with drugs or alcohol. I then moved to the Oxford University Department of Psychiatry where, funded by the Wellcome Trust, I had a three year doctoral research post studying the epidemiology of eating disorders. I returned to full time clinical training in psychiatry at the Bethlem and Maudsley Hospitals, progressing to a Clinical Lecturer post in addictions and then to my first consultant post in the specialist substance misuse services for the London Borough of Lambeth In 2003 I moved to a second consultant post in Gloucestershire, with a mixed rural and small town population. In these posts I have worked with both NHS Trusts and third sector organisations. I am co-author of the British Association for Psychopharmacology evidence-based guidelines for the pharmacological management of substance abuse, harmful use, addiction and comorbidity; and have been a member of the working groups for other current guidance in the addiction field (Better care for people with co-occurring mental health and alcohol/drug use conditions (Public Health England); and Drug Misuse and Dependence: UK Guidelines on Clinical Management (UK Department of Health and Social Care)).