This overview reviews the establishment and evolution of the Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). It outlines its current organisation and updated research direction, and discusses SoRAD’s future challenges and opportunities. SoRAD was established at Stockholm University to strengthen and support Swedish social science research on alcohol and drugs. It became active in 1999, and quickly grew in research efforts and reputation, while experiencing setbacks around 2006 and 2017. In 2018 SoRAD merged with the Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS), to form a new Department of Public Health Sciences. In its new suit, SoRAD acts as a research centre within the teaching department. The research activities on alcohol and other drugs and gambling behaviour and problems may be categorised into four main areas: social epidemiology; subcultures and social worlds of use and heavy use; policy formation, implementation and societal responses; and societal and other collective definitions of problems and solutions. The new arrangements, with an increased staff pool and close interplay with higher education, provide a more stable and long-term platform for achieving the main mission of promoting and developing social science research on addictive substances and behaviours and related problems.