Substance Use and Misuse Lab

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The Substance Use and Misuse Lab investigates the social, biological and cognitive drivers of substance use and misuse. With a view to improving strategies for promoting successful behaviour change, we examine the psychological and social processes shaping alcohol, drug, food consumption and doping, as well as studying the consequences of intake across the lifespan. The Substance Use and Misuse Lab is a member of the Liverpool Centre for Alcohol Research, connected to Liverpool Health Partners.

Our research uses cutting-edge technologies, including Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS), Eye Tracking and Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)/ Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS). We also carry out laboratory-based cognitive experiments, alcohol administration, test blood, hair and saliva under the Human Tissue Act in accordance with Edge Hill University’s Human Tissue Act Committee, and conduct real-time examinations of substance use behaviours, and cognitions, using field observation techniques, interviews, questionnaires and specially designed Smartphone applications.

Lab Members

Professor Derek Heim
Professor Philip Murphy
Dr Rebecca Monk
Dr Adam Qureshi
Dr Derek Larkin
Dr Joyce Humphries
Dr Andy Levy
Rowan Brookes

Examples of research in the lab

  • Group processes in alcohol behaviours.
  • Substance misuse treatment options for opiate and cocaine users.
  • The suitability of providing injectable naltrexone for prisoners with a history of opiate misuse.
  • Biopsychological responses to food-related commercials.
  • Qualitative perceptions and caloric estimation of healthy and unhealthy foods.
  • Sports Participation and Alcohol Use: Associations with Sports-Related Identities and Well-Being.
  • Assessing real-time contextual effects on drinking and associated cognitions using Smartphone technology.
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation and its impact on inhibitory control and ad libitum alcohol consumption.
  • Using eye tracking, TMS and facial EMG to examine emotional contagion and alcohol consumption.

Insights for the community

Our research is being used to inform community initiatives and support. Specifically this relates to supporting people who may be coming off recreational drugs such as heroin and also about issues relating to alcohol consumption.

In the News

Dr Rebecca Monk and Professor Derek Heim on “Can beauty be-er ignored? The science behind the ‘beer goggles’ effect

Get involved!

Take part in our current research here > 

For more information about our research and to get involved in other research projects, please contact a member of our team.

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