Johan Franck's research group

Treatment of addictive disorders

The process leading up to addictive disorders is complex and several factors contribute to induce and maintain addictions to both drugs and natural rewards, including drug priming and exposure to drug related cues. Our research group aims at evaluating novel pharmacological treatments for alcohol and amphetamine dependence, respectively. We also develop treatment for co-morbid ADHD and substance dependence. We collaborate with researchers in psychotherapy, epidemiology, genetics, and infectious diseases.

One main focus is the effects of pharmaceutical drugs on drug-craving, drug-seeking behavior and relapse to illicit drug use in patients with addictive disorders. By combining human experimental models and placebo controlled clinical trials in natural settings we strive to shorten the gap between discovery, medication safety trials and efficacy trials.

We work with three distinct clinical populations: patients with amphetamine dependence, patients with alcohol dependence, and patients with a co-morbid diagnosis of ADHD and a concomitant substance use disorder. We are currently expanding our scope to study treatment methods for opioid dependent patients, as well as evaluation of the Stockholm needle-exchange programme for injecting drug users.

Research Projects

Alcohol dependence

  • Clinical trials of novel pharmaceutical compounds for relapse prevention in alcohol dependence
  • Human laboratory study of cue-induced craving for amphetamine
  • Human laboratory study of cue and alcohol-induced craving for alcohol
  • PET neuroimaging of adaptations in the brain glutamate system following long-term heavy alcohol use
  • Studies on new pharmaceutical drug candidates on alcohol seeking behavior

Amphetamine dependence and comorbidities

  • Functional neuroimaging (fMRI) of patients with amphetamine dependence
  • Opioid mechanisms in amphetamine dependence
  • Clinical trial of sustained release methylphenidate in amphetamine dependent patients with a criminal life style
  • European prevalence study of ADHD among patients with substance use disorders (ICASA collaboration)
  • Prevalence of ADHD among women convicted to prison in Sweden
  • Health economic analysis of ADHD-treatment in comorbid substance use disorders


  • Genetic risk factors for amphetamine dependence
  • Evaluation of the Stockholm needle-exchange programme
  • Clinical trial of mentalization-based treatment (MBT) for comorbid substance dependence and borderline personality disorder

Selected Publications

Benzodiazepine prescribing for children, adolescents, and young adults from 2006 through 2013: A total population register-linkage study.
Sidorchuk A, Isomura K, Molero Y, Hellner C, Lichtenstein P, Chang Z, et al
PLoS Med. 2018 08;15(8):e1002635

Cue reactivity and opioid blockade in amphetamine dependence: A randomized, controlled fMRI study.
Guterstam J, Jayaram-Lindström N, Berrebi J, Petrovic P, Ingvar M, Fransson P, et al
Drug Alcohol Depend 2018 10;191():91-97

Drug abuse screening with exhaled breath and oral fluid in adults with substance use disorder.
Arvidsson M, Ullah S, Franck J, Dahl M, Beck O
Drug Test Anal 2019 Jan;11(1):27-32

Working Memory Training in Alcohol Use Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
Khemiri L, Brynte C, Stunkel A, Klingberg T, Jayaram-Lindström N
Alcohol. Clin. Exp. Res. 2019 Jan;43(1):135-146

International Consensus Statement on Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment of Substance Use Disorder Patients with Comorbid Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
Crunelle C, van den Brink W, Moggi F, Konstenius M, Franck J, Levin F, et al
Eur Addict Res 2018 ;24(1):43-51

Mentalization-Based Treatment for Concurrent Borderline Personality Disorder and Substance Use Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Feasibility Study.
Philips B, Wennberg P, Konradsson P, Franck J
Eur Addict Res 2018 ;24(1):1-8

Childhood trauma exposure in substance use disorder patients with and without ADHD.
Konstenius M, Leifman A, van Emmerik-van Oortmerssen K, van de Glind G, Franck J, Moggi F, et al
Addict Behav 2017 02;65():118-124

Methylphenidate doses in Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and comorbid substance use disorders.
Skoglund C, Brandt L, D'Onofrio B, Larsson H, Franck J
Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 2017 11;27(11):1144-1152

Naltrexone modulates dopamine release following chronic, but not acute amphetamine administration: a translational study.
Jayaram-Lindström N, Guterstam J, Häggkvist J, Ericson M, Malmlöf T, Schilström B, et al
Transl Psychiatry 2017 04;7(4):e1104

Factors Associated With Adherence to Methylphenidate Treatment in Adult Patients With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Substance Use Disorders.
Skoglund C, Brandt L, Almqvist C, DʼOnofrio B, Konstenius M, Franck J, et al
J Clin Psychopharmacol 2016 Jun;36(3):222-8

Group members

Ann Hagerborn