Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit



Understanding the Interplay between Cultural, Biological and Subjective Factors in Drug Use pathways (IMAGEN)

Team: Professor Val Curran, Dr Tom Freeman, Dr Claire Mokrysz and Dr Meryem Grabski

Collaborators:  University of Amsterdam, King's College London, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Commissariat à L'Energie Atomique (France) and INSERM (France)

Why does one individual start using illicit drugs, while another does not? Why is one able to use them in a controlled, functional way, while another escalates use and problems? In collaboration with research institutions across 4 European countries we aim to answer these questions with IMAGEN Pathways.

In this study we will build on genetic, brain imaging, individual and social data that has already been collected in the IMAGEN project of over 2000 Europeans since they were aged 14. Critically, we will add to the next stage of this project by characterizing dynamic drug use pathways using a multidisciplinary approach. We will use longitudinal hair analysis to objectively map drug use over 12 months. We will use online surveys as well as rich qualitative analyses to portray the multiple layers of drug use pathways over time. In expanding the ongoing longitudinal IMAGEN cohort, we will determine how progression from adolescence to young adulthood influences drug use pathways and their consequences for individual and society.