Details of the council's committees and latest meeting minutes.

There are currently 24 members of the advisory council.


Appointments (usually for a term of 3 years) are ordinarily made by the Home Secretary, in accordance with guidance issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. According to this guidance, members can serve a maximum period of 10 years, although no member can be reappointed unless they have received a satisfactory performance appraisal.

Current members

The register of interests for members of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) lists their occupations, the organisations they work for and the nature of any interests they might have.


Dr Owen Bowden-Jones, consultant in addiction psychiatry and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Imperial College


  • Professor Judith Aldridge, Professor of Criminology at University of Manchester
  • Dr Kostas Agath, Consultant Psychiatrist (Addictions), Change Grow Live Southwark
  • Dr Owen Bowden-Jones, Consultant Psychiatrist, Central North West London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Dr Anne Campbell, Senior lecturer in social work at Queens University Belfast
  • Mr Mohammed Fessal, Chief Pharmacist for Change Grow Live
  • Dr Emily Finch, Clinical Director of the Addictions Clinical Academic Group and a Consultant Psychiatrist at South London and Maudsley NHS Trust.
  • Lawrence Gibbons, Head of Drug Threat (Intelligence Directorate, Commodities) at National Crime Agency
  • Dr Hilary Hamnett, Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science and Forensic Toxicologist at the University of Lincoln
  • Professor Graeme Henderson, Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Bristol
  • Dr Carole Hunter, Lead pharmacist at the Alcohol and Drug Recovery Services at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Doping Control Officer for UK Antidoping
  • Professor Roger Knaggs, Associate Professor in Clinical Pharmacy practice at the University of Nottingham
  • Professor Tim Millar, Professor of Substance Use and Addiction Research Strategy Lead at University of Manchester
  • Mr Rob Phipps, Retired Head of Health Development Policy Branch, Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (Northern Ireland)
  • Harry Shapiro, Director of DrugWise
  • Dr Richard Stevenson, Emergency Medicine Consultant at Glasgow Royal Infirmary
  • Dr Paul Stokes, Reader in Mood Disorders and Psychopharmacology at King’s College London
  • Dr Ann Sullivan, Consultant Physician in HIV and Sexual Health and National co-lead for HIV Surveillance, Public Health England
  • Professor Matthew Sutton, Professor of Health Economics at the University of Manchester
  • Professor David Taylor, Director of Pharmacy and Pathology at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Professor of Psychopharmacology at Kings College London
  • Professor Simon Thomas, Consultant Physician and Clinical Pharmacologist at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics at Newcastle University
  • Dr Derek Tracy, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director at the Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and Senior Lecturer at King’s College London
  • Rosalie Weetman, Public Health Lead (Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco) at Derbyshire County Council
  • Dr David Wood, Consultant physician and clinical toxicologist, Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Trust


The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has 3 committees and 8 working groups.

Recovery committee

Co-Chairs: Dr Emily Finch and Dr Anne Campbell

Recovery committee is the newest standing committee of the ACMD, formed in 2011 to support the ACMD to advise the government on:

  • how people can best be supported to recover from dependence on drugs and alcohol
  • how best to prevent drug and alcohol misuse and the harms it causes

The recovery committee is comprised of ACMD members with an interest or expertise in aspects of drug and alcohol recovery, supplemented by additional co-opted experts in aspects of recovery.

Technical committee

Chair: Professor Roger Knaggs

Technical committee is a standing committee of the ACMD. Its primary purpose is to provide technical advice on classification and scheduling of substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and its regulations. For example, the committee is consulted on the measures necessary to ensure a controlled drug is not diverted from legitimate medical purposes.

Novel psychoactive substances committee

Chair: Professor Simon Thomas

The novel psychoactive substances committee was set up in response to the emergence of novel psychoactive substances (NPS) that have rapidly and significantly changed the drug scene. The committee aims to monitor the prevalence and harms of NPS and where appropriate provide advice on this to government.

Working groups

Cannabis-based products for medicinal use (CBPMs)

Chair: Dr Owen Bowden-Jones

The ACMD was asked by government to assess the impact of the change in legislation which rescheduled cannabis-based products for medicinal use (CBPMs) to Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, and to make recommendations to mitigate any issues identified.

Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs

Chair: vacant

To consider the available evidence regarding image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs); including:

  • androgenic-anabolic steroids
  • human growth hormones
  • peptides and growth hormone releasing factors (GHRFs)
  • Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMS)
  • some health supplements
  • associated substances such as Tamoxifen and Clenbuterol

Their use/misuse; and associated physical and social harms.

The working group will place particular emphasis on the level of use/misuse amongst young people and the ageing cohort and consider the increasing nature of injecting and linkage to BBV. Whilst use of IPEDs in professional sport will be considered, particular focus will be placed on amateur use of IPEDs in organised sport and gyms, as this seems to represent where a) the largest number of users lie and b) most harms can occur).

The Working Group will not consider cognition enhancers, tanning agents or sexual performance enhancers.

Monitoring of emerging NPS

A new ACMD working group has been established to develop a systematic methodology for the monitoring of emerging NPS. In doing so it will provide an early warning function to the ACMD. The monitoring process will be developed in 2020, with its first meeting taking place in January 2020.

Barriers to Research

A working group has been established under the ACMD Technical Committee to assess the proposed solutions for reducing the barriers to research involving controlled drugs, received from the research community.

Scheduling SOP

A new ACMD working group will establish a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the ACMD’s scheduling recommendations under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations. This SOP will establish a systematic process for ensuring consistency in scheduling decisions. The ACMD expects to establish this SOP by early 2021.

Young people and substance misuse treatment

A working group has been established under the ACMD Recovery Committee to examine the available data on young peoples’ substance misuse across the UK. The resulting report will aim to identify any trends in substance use, with a specific focus on the effectiveness and availability of support services for this group. This workstream will not cover prevention but will advise on effective interventions and treatments for this group. The ACMD expects to provide advice on young people by early 2021.

Naloxone implementation

The ACMD will undertake a review of the evidence on both the implementation and impact of naloxone programmes in the UK and elsewhere since 2012. The ACMD expects to provide advice on naloxone implementation by the end of 2020. The workstream will be led by the Recovery Committee.


A new ACMD working group has been established to review the evidence on substance use in the LGBT community, with a focus on ‘chemsex’ - a term used to describe sex between men occurring under the influence of drugs taken for the specific purpose of enhancing the sexual experience. The ACMD expects to provide advice on effective interventions for chemsex by early 2021.