About us

We were born as a uni side project, fueled by a passion to reduce drug-related harm and deaths. Over the years, our initiative grew and evolved, thanks to the invaluable contributions of numerous volunteers. Along the way, we've celebrated successes like when we’ve been in the national news for our expert input, and learned from setbacks like when we were rejected twice in a year from the same business programme.

Today, we’re Substancy, a social enterprise that develops solutions by combining knowledge about substances with the latest digital technology. We’re set up as a for-profit, but we are driven by social impact. Substancy is a limited company by shares registered in the UK (14974626).

Our team

Photo of Dr. Ivan Ezquerra Romano

Dr. Ivan Ezquerra Romano

Software Development and Innovation

Ivan has contributed to the online harm reduction sector and substance use communities for about 10 years. Ivan obtained a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience in the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London. He contributes to research on drug use and perception and publishes in international high-rank scientific journals. Ivan leads Drugs and me, a reputable brand with a website that has reached >1.5M people and a social media following of over 30k people. He recently successfully launched an innovative AI drug chatbot that reached >70 countries and helped >4,000 people in less than 40 days. At Substancy, he is responsible for software development and stakeholder engagement.

Photo of Mark Tudor

Mark Tudor

Strategic Partnerships and Delivery Excellence

Mark has worked in leadership roles in the field of harm reduction and substance use for over 25 years both in the UK and internationally. Mark is an MBA graduate and Chartered Marketer. Mark has also completed a Higher Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing. Mark advises local authorities, charities, and governments globally on harm reduction and has a special interest in Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs (IPEDs). Mark is a UK Anti-Doping Accredited Adviser and IPED Train The Trainer. At Substancy, he is responsible for marketing strategy and commercial development.

Photo of Caterina Ionescu

Caterina Ionescu

Knowledge Creation and Development

Caterina is currently in her fourth year at UCL, pursuing a BA in European Social and Political Studies. She is conducting research on drug policies in the UK with a human rights-based approach and has experience in various sectors including health and law, aiming to tackle problems with a multidisciplinary mindset. At Substancy, Caterina is currently leading the expansion and maintenance of the database powering the AI drug chatbot.

Our vision

We're empowering people with knowledge and tools about psychoactive drugs.

Our mission

We want to live in a world where drug use brings benefits without causing harm or death. At Substancy, we work towards this world by empowering people who use drugs, health professionals and industry experts with innovative and accessible digital tools. We strive to enhance positive impact by integrating the power of technology with knowledge about substances.

Our values

Our values guide our every interaction, decision, and output. They represent who we are and what we stand for:

Get in touch

Tell us a bit about yourself and how we could work together.