Neil McKeganey BA, MSc, PhD FRSA is a sociologist by training and has carried out research in a wide range of topics related to drugs misuse including undertaking work on pre-teen drug use, on the link between drugs and crime, on the effectiveness of drug enforcement activities, on the effectiveness of drug treatment services and on the impact of drugs policy.
In 1994 Neil McKeganey founded the Centre for Drug Misuse Research at the University of Glasgow which was responsible for carrying out innovative policy relevant research on the UK drugs problem- this included developing the statistical techniques for estimating the size of hidden populations, understanding the impact of parental drug use on children, quantifying the impact of drug seizures, and analysing drug users risk behaviour. In 2011 the Centre closed at the University of Glasgow and opened as an independent research Centre. Neil and other staff within the Centre are now linked to the University of Edinburgh.
Neil is the author of over 150 academic papers and six books -the most recent of which is “Controversies in Drugs Policy and Practice” (Palgrave Macmillan 2010). He has written widely in the media on the topic of illegal drugs and has acted in an advisory role for a wide range of international organisations including the World Health Organisation, the UK Home Office, the United Nations. In 2011.
Neil has undertaken research for a wide range of bodies including the World Health Organisation, the Scottish Government, the UK Home Office, the Medical Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council and the UK Department of Health. In addition he has carried out research in connection with the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction and a variety of other EU programmes.
Neil is currently finalising an “A to Z of Substance Misuse” for Palgrave Macmillan which will be published in 2012. International presentations that Neil will be providing within 2012 include a plenary address for the ICAA in Montreal on harm reduction and abstinence, a presentation in Sweden on drug policy and a presentation in Barcelona on drug treatment. Neil is currently leading a programme of research looking at aspects of drug misuse treatment including within custodial settings. In addition Neil is currently writing up (with Dr Alasdair Young) research on the experience of drug dependent doctors and dentists in Scotland.
In March 2012 Neil took part in a Google + international debate focussing on the war on drugs and whether this has been successful or a failure and whether alternative options should not be considered. He is about to take part in a BBC programme on addiction hosted by Russell Brand. In 2011 Neil took part in the Battle of Ideas conference in London debating whether recreational drug use was immoral. Finally in 2012 Neil will begin supervision of Ph.D research on the history of Scottish drug policy.