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Who's Who on the Policy Advisory Group

David Best
Dr David Best, Senior lecturer in addictions at the centre of psychiatry Birmingham University.

Dr David Best is a senior lecturer in addictions
in the department of psychiatry at Birmingham University, and research and development lead for Birmingham Drug and Alcohol Action Team. He is a Chartered Psychologist and a member of the British Criminological Society. He spent ten years working in research at the National Addiction Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, managing a range of applied studies of drug and alcohol treatment, interventions to prevent drug-related deaths and drug-crime studies. He has also worked with the Police Complaints Authority, the National Treatment Agency and the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit. His current areas of research interest are around recovery journeys from addiction, the relationship between drug use and crime and the role of organisational functioning in influencing treatment effectiveness.

David Clark
David Clark BSc., PhD., Emeritus Professor in Psychology and Director of Wired In

David Clark, Director of Wired In
, is an Emeritus Professor in Psychology. He developed Wired In eight years ago as a way of empowering people to tackle substance use problems.
David launched Daily Dose, now the world’s leading news portal on substance misuse, and two earlier Wired In websites ( and which contained a wealth of informative content material relating to substance use, including Personal Stories, research studies, agency profiles, and educational material.

He has conducted a wide variety of research projects that focus on issues related to addiction, recovery and treatment. The Wired In Personal Stories not only enhance general awareness of these issues, but also inform practice and act as motivating tools for the people whose lives are portrayed.

David writes a popular bi-weekly education column (Background Briefings) for the magazine Drink and Drugs News, and the ‘The prof speaks out’ blog. He is coordinating a number of film projects and developing a multimedia library.

He has helped improve professional standards in the field, via roles as Chair of the Professional Certification Advisory Panel for the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals (FDAP), a member of the Accreditation Panel for the European Association of Treatment Agencies (EATA), and External Examiner for the Clouds/Bath University Foundation degree on Addictions Counseling.

Prior to developing Wired In, David spent 25 years as a neuroscientist working with the neurotransmitter dopamine. He trained in Sweden with Professor Arvid Carlsson, winner of a Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine.

David ran his own research laboratory for 15 years, received a number of prestigious awards for his research, was supported by sixteen funding bodies in seven countries, and published over 60 peer-reviewed articles, some of which were seminal review and theoretical papers.
The day came, however, when David felt, ‘he wanted to help people more’. He then directed Wired In and maintained his Professorial position in Psychology at the University of Wales, Swansea for a number of years, before taking early retirement in 2006 to focus entirely on the former.  

Gwen Emyr
Gwen Emyr B.A., Christian worker in the Welsh medium schools in Cardiff and the surrounding areas.

Gwen Emyr is a mother to two grown up children and has recently became a grandmother for the first time.
Initially she worked in Welsh education in Anglesey and Gwynedd, North Wales, as an adult History and Welsh language teacher, and lecturer. Then, after moving to  South Wales and after a short period working with the Welsh Tourist Board, she was appointed to her present post as a Christian worker in the Welsh medium schools in Cardiff and surrounding areas. Now, with a team of 5 colleagues, she shares the work of conducting morning services and presenting lessons on the Bible. Gwen has many interests – amongst them she enjoys reading, writing, walking in the Welsh countryside and travelling.  

Tom Leighton
Tim Leighton, B.A. (Hons.) Director of Action on Addiction's new Centre for Addiction Treatment Studies.

Tim Leighton is the Director of the Centre for Addiction Treatment Studies,
which delivers the University of Bath’s Foundation Degree and BSc (Hons) in Addictions Counselling. He has worked in the area of addictions since 1985. He is a Cognitive Analytic Psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer, and his research interests include change through group processes, including group therapy, mutual-help groups and community movements.

Geraint Rees
Geraint Rees M.A. is responsible for the Lifelong Learning service, which includes the youth service.

Geraint Rees has worked with young people for a quarter of a century –
as a teacher and youth worker. After working for a period as a teacher in Kenya, he spent 10 years teaching in secondary schools in valleys of Glamorganshire, before being appointed headmaster at Plasmawr School (the Welsh language comprehensive) in Cardiff. After 10 years in that post, Geraint joined the team managing education in his local authority. Since 2007 he has worked as a consultant to head teachers and, at present, is responsible for the Lifelong Learning service, which includes the youth service. His interests range from music to sport; the latter enjoyed from the comfort of his chair.

Colin Macdonald
Colin Macdonald C.A. (Chartered Accountant)

Colin Macdonald is a Chartered Accountant who combines his accountancy practice with public practice and personal development.
The practice clients’ cover a wide range of business sectors providing accounting, tax and business advisory services – in the last 18 months there has been specific focus on charities assisting them to meet the latest compliance legislation and advising on strategy and internal organisational structures.

Colin has, since 1998, been involved with lifestyle management and change management, bringing a more holistic approach to the lives of people who train with him. He is the founder member and leader of a not for profit organisation providing training and resources for those suffering from addictive illnesses. Up to recently he was an active trustee in a Scottish charity working against racism and sectarianism – this work included the roles of treasurer and facilitating workshops in churches, schools and prisons – challenging behaviour and encouraging personal responsibility.

Colin has a keen interest and a wealth of experience in leadership and the creative process of management, having worked with individuals and a large range of groups both in the commercial, public and voluntary sectors.

Current projects include:
1. Setting up a group focusing on the provision of a business/ career / personal coaching programmes using traditional coaching and newly pioneered methods – working with experts at a leading American University in the field of coaching using emotional intelligence and other resources;

2. Providing editorial services to the editor of a monthly magazine which provides assistance and support for those suffering from addiction.

His interests include: reading, travelling, rugby, music – listening and playing, photography and enjoying food.

For further information or to contact the Board of Trustees or the PAG, please email or call 020 2049 3895.

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