ALICE RAP is a new dynamic transdisciplinary EU project which aims is to help policy makers “re-think and re-shape” current and future approaches to the huge human and economic costs of addictions and lifestyles in Europe. The initiative goes far beyond alcohol, and will investigate addiction in its broadest sense, including all types of substance problems and even internet gaming and gambling.

Over the next five years the ‘Addictions and Lifestyles in Contemporary Europe Reframing Addictions Project (ALICE RAP) will weave the work of over 100 scientists from 67 institutions in 25 countries into a integrated evidence base for informed policy action. The research programme includes a wide range of different quantitative and qualitative scientific disciplines.

Work Area 3 – determinants of addiction

Sheffield will lead Work Area 3, looking at the determinants of addiction.

Professor Petra Meier will direct a multi-disciplinary team spanning neurobiology, genetics, psychology, sociology, public policy, evolutionary biology and economics with experts working in UK and Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.

Alice Rap Team

Alice Rap diagram

Work Packages in Work Area 3

Work Package 7 – Initiation of potentially risky substance use and gambling
Work Package 8 – Transition to harmful substance use and gambling
Work Package 9 – Transition to cessation of substance use and gambling or chronic relapse.


  1. Develop agreed definitions
  2. Synthesise interdisciplinary evidence
  3. Obtain estimates for transition probabilities by age and gender group
  4. Produce interdisciplinary review
  5. Produce testable models for future research

Major Outputs of Work Area 3

  1. Interdisciplinary integrated evidence review
  2. Quantified transition probabilities, where possible stratified by population subgroup.
  3. Interdisciplinary testable models
  4. Interactive maps (along the lines of those produced by the Foresight Report 2007)

Foresight Report

Work will be carried out at a series of workshop based meetings, and will be synthesised for a general audience by a dedicated Science Writer, Dr Jane McLeod, based at ScHARR, University of Sheffield.


Gavens L, Holmes J, Buehringer G, McLeod J, Neumann M, Lingford-Hughes A, Hock ES, Meier PS (2017) ‘Interdisciplinary working in public health research: a proposed good practice checklist‘, Journal of Public Health, DOI:¬†

Gell L, Buehringer G, McLeod J, Forberger S, Holmes J, Lingford-Hughes A and Meier PS. (eds) (2016) ‘What determines harm from addictive substances and behaviours?‘. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Probst, C., Moyo, D., Purshouse, R. and Rehm J. (2015) ‘Transition probabilities for four states of alcohol use in adolescence and young adulthood: what factors matter when?‘, Addiction, DOI: 10.1111/add.12985