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


  • Dr Kostas Agath, Consultant Psychiatrist (Addictions), CGL Southwark
  • Dr Owen Bowden-Jones, Consultant Psychiatrist, Central North West London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Annette Dale-Perera, Independent Consultant
  • Professor Paul Dargan, Consultant Physician and Clinical Toxicologist, Clinical Director, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London; Reader in Clinical Toxicology, King’s College London
  • Dr Emily Finch, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director, Addictions Clinical Academic Group, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust
  • Lawrence Gibbons, Head of Drug Threat, NCA Intelligence Directorate, Commodities
  • Professor Simon Gibbons, Professor of Medicinal Phytochemistry and Head of Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, UCL
  • Dr Hilary Hamnett, Senior Toxicologist, Imperial College London
  • Professor Ray Hill, Neuropharmacologist
  • Dr Tim Millar, Senior Research Fellow and Addiction Research Strategy Lead, University of Manchester
  • Rob Phipps, retired Head of Health Development Policy Branch, Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (Northern Ireland)
  • Professor Fabrizio Schifano, Consultant Psychiatrist, Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust; Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Hertfordshire
  • Harry Shapiro, Director, DrugWise
  • Professor Alex Stevens, Professor of Criminal Justice and Deputy Head of the School of Social Policy, University of Kent
  • Dr Richard Stevenson, Emergency Medicine Consultant, Glasgow Royal Infirmary
  • Dr Ann Sullivan, Consultant Physician in HIV and Sexual Health
  • Professor Harry Sumnall, Professor in Substance Use, Liverpool John Moores University
  • Professor Simon Thomas, Consultant Physician and Clinical Pharmacologist, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Dr Derek Tracy, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, London
  • Rosalie Weetman, Senior Commissioning Manager of Substance Misuse


The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has 3 committees and 2 working groups.

Recovery committee

Chair: Annette Dale-Perera

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 Ray Hill

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 Gibbons

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 Scheduling

Chair: Dr Owen Bowden-Jones

The ACMD was asked by government to consider the appropriate scheduling of cannabis and cannabis related products and whether there are further provisions that could be made under the 2001 Regulations to reduce the risks of harm and diversion.

Custody Community Transitions

Chair: Prof Alex Stevens

This inquiry was established following concerns by members of the increasing harms related to drug use by offenders. Levels of drug use are high amongst offenders, and people leaving prison are known to be especially vulnerable to death by overdose. The working group will identify existing recommendations in this area and ask to what extent these have been implemented. The report will specify the barriers and opportunities for more effective implementation and will assess if there is a need for new or adapted recommendations.

Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs

Chair: Professor Fabrizio Schifano

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.

Older Drug Users

Chair: Dr Kostas Agath

The past decade has seen a shift in the age profile of those seeking treatment for drug use. An ageing cohort, who have survived lengthy histories of heavy drug use, now account for an increasing portion of the treatment group in the UK and Europe. This working group explores the specific issues for older people with a drug problem focusing on those who have had a drug problem for an extended period of time. The group aims to describe the health and social care needs of this population, and identify effective services responses and best practice.

Psychoactive Substances Bill Impact

Chair: Prof Tim Millar

Home Office Science’s Crime and Policing Analysis unit will lead the the post-implementation review of the Psychoactive Substances Act. This Working Group will advise on the measures and review mechanisms used.

Social Harms and Decision Making

Chair: Prof Harry Sumnall

The working group aims to recommend to ACMD how social harms of drug use should be categorised, evidenced, and evaluated in ACMD reports. This will include a review of existing frameworks and taxonomies of social harms arising from use of drugs, and identification of indicators and sources of evidence to evaluate social harms.


Open session minutes, 24 November 2015 (PDF, 23.8KB, 2 pages)

Open session minutes, 2 July 2015 (PDF, 37.3KB, 4 pages)

Open session minutes, 25 September 2014 (PDF, 36.9KB, 6 pages)

Open session minutes, 11 April 2014 (PDF, 45KB, 5 pages)