The Society for the Study of Addiction is delighted to announce Professor Owen Bowden-Jones as its new President. Owen was elected to the post by fellow trustees on 9 November, and succeeds Dr Ed Day, who served a four-year term.

Professor Owen Bowden-Jones is a Consultant in Addiction Psychiatry and an Honorary Professor at University College London. Owen has a long history of innovation and leadership in addiction research and treatment – opening the UK’s first Club Drug Clinic to help people who experience problems with psychoactive substances, club drugs, online medications, and chemsex. He will bring a wealth of experience, enthusiasm, and commitment to the SSA, and as President will lead on strategy and oversight, and build on the growth and influence that the SSA has achieved in recent years.

Sharing his excitement about leading the SSA ‘on the next stage of its journey’, Owen said:

“It is a privilege to be elected as the new SSA President. More than ever, our Society has a crucial role to play in the highly dynamic research and policy environment. To remain at the forefront of these changes, the Society must continually adapt and I am truly excited to be leading the SSA on the next stage of its journey.”

Owen’s other roles include Chair of the UK Government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), Policy Fellow at the University of Cambridge, Board Member at the International Society for the Study of Emerging Drugs, and Special Adviser to the Universities UK drugs taskforce. He has previously also chaired the Faculty of Addictions, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and has advised Public Health England, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

Owen is joined by Dr Tom Freeman as Vice President. Tom is the Director of the Addiction and Mental Health Group at the University of Bath, and Senior Editor for Addiction journal. He is internationally known for his research on cannabis and cannabinoids, including novel harm reduction strategies such as the standard THC unit (similar to the standard alcohol unit).

At the same time as welcoming Owen as President, the SSA also welcomes four new trustees to the board: Professor Matt Field, Dr Steve Sharman, Dr Iain Smith, and Dr Kyla Thomas. We also see four long-serving trustees stand down: Dr Ed Day, Professor Eilish Gilvary, Dr Daphne Rumball, and Professor Sir John Strang. Between them, they served a combined total of over 90 years, and that experience and dedication to the Society will be greatly missed.

Notes to editors

  • The SSA was established in 1884 and aims to improve the scientific understanding of addiction.
  • The SSA is a registered charity and owns two high-quality academic journals: Addiction and Addiction Biology.
  • The SSA supports addiction research through a wide range of funding schemes. It also holds one of the largest addiction conferences in the UK each November and has a membership of nearly 400 people.
  • For all press enquiries, please contact the SSA’s Head of Communications, Rob Calder.

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