Center for Substance use and Addiction Research – CESAR

Kelsey Chance

What are we researching?

Drug use and addiction are major social problems worldwide. How can we treat or (preferably) prevent addiction? We study which risk and resilience factors lead to substance use and addiction. Our focus is on studying the interaction between brain, behaviour and environment: from molecule to society.

Why are we doing this research?

Drug use and addiction affect people's social, physical and psychological functioning. The knowledge we gain can contribute to  an effective prevention and treatment of addiction.

How are we doing this research?

Our research team uses a unique multidisciplinary approach. We do not focus solely on a specific domain of addiction but look at the broad context of the individual in society. We do this, for example, in large-scale (inter)national collaborations and long-term population studies, in which we use brain scans, among other things. Our team also develops theories and measurement methods to understand addiction behaviour better. Our team also researches innovative treatment methods, such as brain training, brain stimulation and virtual reality. We use these methods not only in our lab but also in real life. For example, in the pubs or coffee shops in the city of Rotterdam.

How does our research make an impact?

Our research influences not only science and education but also the treatment of persons with addiction problems and society at large. Our theories, methods and results are used worldwide by researchers, treatment providers and policymakers.

Our team members hold a position in scientific editorial boards such as Alcohol and Drug Dependence, Addiction, and European Addiction Research. We also contribute to education and training for students, professionals and other target groups, using the 'Handbook Addiction l', of which Prof. Ingmar Franken is the chief editor.

We organise workshops and lectures throughout the city and country for young and old. Dr. Janna Cousijn developed the workshop 'Wietweetjes'. We are also active on social media to communicate scientific knowledge easily and reduce the stigma around mental health. The brain researcher on Instagram is an initiative of Prof. Hanan El Marroun.

With our research, we contribute to policy advice on a national and international level.

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