Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineFaculty of Medicine Centre

Honorary Locum Consultant Psychiatrist







Claybrook CentreCharing Cross Campus





Dr Owen Bowden-Jones is a Consultant in Addiction Psychiatry, overseeing alcohol and drug services in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Imperial College in the Division of Brain Science. He trained in general psychiatry before achieving a specialist accreditation in substance misuse.

In 2010, Dr Bowden-Jones founded the Club Drug Clinic  the UK’s largest multi-disciplinary service for people using ‘legal highs’ and ‘club drugs’. The service has grown rapidly and now operates from two Central London sites.  The clinic has provided a unique opportunity to monitor new trends in drug use and to research innovative approaches to service delivery and treatment. He is currently grant holder for project NEPTUNE, a national expert group developing clinical guidance in the management of club drugs for a range of health settings

He completed his MSc in Clinical Psychiatric Research at Imperial College and in 2005 was awarded a prestigious Leadership Fellowship from the Health Foundation. Research interests include club drugs, management of co-morbid substance misuse and mental health problems and quality improvement interventions. Dr Bowden-Jones is currently co-recipient of two NIHR grants and has previously been principle investigator on a large quality improvement project investigating the delivery of blood borne virus vaccination and treatment programmes

Dr Bowden-Jones is the current Chair of the Faculty of Addictions at the Royal College of Psychiatrists (2010-2014). A key part of this role is promoting the work of addiction psychiatry and in doing so he has met regularly with Government ministers, civil servants and other professional groups. Dr Bowden-Jones has given oral evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee review of drug policy, the Inter-ministerial Group on Drugs and several All Parliamentary Party Groups (APPGs).

He has chaired a number of national reports including Joint Commissioning Panel guidance on drug and alcohol services , ‘New Trends in addiction’, Royal College of Psychiatrists (in press) and Role of the addiction specialist, Public Health England (in press). Dr Bowden-Jones has also co-authored two important reports on the role of medical professionals in substance misuse and

Other national roles include the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) ketamine working group, National Intelligence Network on the health harms associated with drug use, National Skills Consortium for Substance Misuse, DVLA expert panel on substance use, National Treatment Agency Medication in Recovery expert group, and London Joint Working Group on Hepatitis C.

International roles include executive member of the European Union Federation of Addiction Societies (EUFAS) and ‘Master trainer’ with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), delivering training on psychiatry in East Africa and the Balkans.

Dr Bowden-Jones has presented widely at national and international conferences on topics including club drugs, co-morbid mental health problems, alcohol and drug policy and workforce development. He spoke at this year’s Maudsley debate on legal highs and will be speaking at the Battle of Ideas at the Barbican.

Other activities include collaborations with the Almedia Theatre, British Film Institute and Angelus Foundation charity. He is a founder member of the London Doctors Orchestra, who rehearse each month in the basement of the Charing Cross Hospital.

He is a Trustee and Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.


2013-14             Project NEPTUNE (Novel Psychoactive Treatment: UK Network)

 National project to develop clinical guidance on management of club drugs for A&E, drug treatment, mental health and sexual health settings.

Project lead: Grant value £75,000


2013-2016            Improving GHB withdrawal with baclofen

 NIHR Research for patient benefit  (RfPB). Randomised control trial of the benefit of baclofen in medically assisted withdrawal from GHB/GBL

Co-applicant: Grant value £180,000


2011-2013            Club Drug Clinic pilot

 Development of multi-disciplinary clinic to assess and treat club drug users

Project lead: Grant value £274,000


2009-2012            PREVENT project

 Prevention of blood borne viruses through testing, treatment and clinical networks

Project lead: Grant value £480,000



Selected publications


An identification and brief advice programme for low-risk alcohol consumption in anacute medical setting: an implementation study. 

Susannah Woodrow, Stuart Green, Karen Phekoo, Vijay Grover, James Lovendoski, Mike Anderson, Owen Bowden-Jones and Matthew Foxton. JRSM short reports 2013; 4


Legal highs and other club drugs: Why the song and dance.

Bowden-Jones O. Invited editorial. The Psychiatrist (2013)37: 185-187


Acceptability and necessity of HIV and other blood-borne virus testing in a psychiatric setting.

Sanger C, Hayward J, Patel G, Phekoo K, Poots AJ, Howe C, Bowden-Jones O, Green J.

Br J Psychiatry. 2013 Apr;202:307-8


Drugs of dependence- the role of medical professionals.

BMA Board of Science. Published Jan 2013



Management of acute gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) withdrawal: use of CIWA-Ar scoring is not sufficient in determining need for benzodiazepine treatment.

Wood DM, Bowden-Jones O, Lingford-Hughes A, Dargan PI. Br J Clin Pharmacol 2012; 73: 1001-1002


Patient access. How to wipe out a growing killer.

Agarwal K, Badcock D, Bowden-Jones O, Brown A, Gore C, Nutt D.

Health Serv J. 2011 Oct 27;121(6280):20-2


The prevalence of personality disorder, its comorbidity with mental state disorders, and its clinical significance in community mental health teams.

Newton-Howes G, Tyrer P, Anagnostakis K, Cooper S, Bowden-Jones O, Weaver T; COSMIC study team.

Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2010 Apr; 45(4):453-60


Cambridge Handbook of Effective Treatments in Psychiatry.

Cambridge University Press. Published 2008

Section Editor for ‘Drug Dependence’ chapter


Contingency management for substance misuse (Correspondence)

McQuaid F, Bowden-Jones O, Weaver T. Br J Psychiatry. 2007; 190: 172


Prevalence of personality disorder in alcohol and drug services and associated comorbidity.

Bowden-Jones O, Iqbal MZ, Tyrer P, Seivewright N, Cooper S, Judd A, Weaver T; COSMIC study team.

Addiction. 2004 Oct; 99(10):1306-14


Improving psychosocial assessment in the emergency department. 

Bowden-Jones O, Fehler J, Catalan J. BMJ (online), 11 November 2002.



BBC News: Inside Out


CNWL: Club Drug Clinic opens second clinic’s-club-drug-clinic-opens-second-clinic-and-launches-new-website-for-online-self-referrals/


BBC Radio 4 All in the mind: Interview about Club Drug Clinic


Sunday Times: Boom in party drug ketamine causes plague of bladder problems


BBC News: Article on legal highs


City Health International Conference 2012


National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse: Club Drugs -Emerging trends and risks[0].pdf


Daily Mail: Middle Class professionals turning to legal highs


BBC Newsbeat: System can’t cope with number of new drugs


Evening Standard: Potential harms of club drugs and role of Club Drug Clinic


Health Service Journal 2011. A blueprint for Hepatitis C treatment


2011 Interview for Angelus Foundation Charity


BBC News: Club Drug Clinic opens its doors


London Joint Working Group for Hepatitis C: 2011 Inspiring action for the future[0].pdf


BBC News: Why do some people become addicts