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Discipline of Addiction Medicine

Preventing morbidity and mortality
We take clinical, public health and research approaches to address the adverse health consequences of substance use.

About the discipline

The Discipline of Addiction Medicine was formed in 2007 and was the first of its kind in Australia. We comprise teaching and research staff within Sydney Medical School, clinical schools and research centres and institutes at the University. Our research covers many facets of addiction medicine including diagnosis, investigation, prevention and treatment.

Study options

We teach into the Doctor of Medicine (MD) program at Sydney Medical School, a major component of which is an eight-week placement that can be taken in addiction medicine at these clinical schools:

The University offers a range of research opportunites to help you pursue your passion. You can undertake a:

To learn more about research opportunities in the Faculty of Medicine and Health, visit our postgraduate research page.

Clinical trials research

Despite how alcohol-use disorders are a leading cause of preventable death, treatment options are still limited, indicating the need for continuing research.

Our work is at the forefront of alcohol treatment in Australia. Your involvement in one of our studies will not only contribute to future treatments of alcohol dependence nationwide, but also be of immense help in achieving your abstinence or moderation goals.

Current clinical trials

There is recent clinical evidence to indicate that topiramate has therapeutic value in reducing alcohol dependence and cravings.

We are currently offering a 12-week treatment program for individuals who want to cut down their drinking, which includes:

  • medical assessments by our specialist
  • 12 weeks of free medication
  • up to eight brief counselling sessions
  • diary to monitor craving and sleep behaviours each day
  • case manager to monitor and assist you throughout the program.

This program will suit you if you answer yes to the following questions:

  • Is it becoming difficult to cut down or control your drinking?
  • Are you willing to participate in a randomised controlled trial?
  • Would you like weekly support in reducing your alcohol intake?

To take part in the program or to find out more contact us:

We are looking for healthy volunteers between the ages of 30 to 60 to be involved in a study that will investigate brain function.

We will need you for about 1.5 hours and we'll reimburse you $40 for your time. You will undergo a brain scan while you perform different tasks and are exposed to various images.

To take part in the program or to find out more contact us:

Abstinence from alcohol is crucial to reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with liver disease. However, specific treatments for alcohol-use disorders in those with significant liver disease have been lacking.

There is recent clinical evidence to indicate that the medication baclofen, which is safe on the liver, has therapeutic value in alcohol dependence.

We are currently offering a 12-week treatment program for people with alcoholic liver disease.

This includes: 

  • medical assessments by our specialists (fibroscan) plus monitoring of liver function symptoms
  • 12 weeks of free medication
  • up to 8 brief counselling sessions.

This program will suit you if you answer yes to the following questions:

  • Is it becoming difficult to cut down or control your drinking?
  • Have you been drinking regularly (more than four drinks per day) for at least 10 years?
  • Do you suffer from (or suspect you may have) liver disease?
  • Are you willing to participate in a randomised controlled trial?

The best way to find out whether you are likely to benefit from our program is to complete a short phone interview with one of our experienced staff.

Please contact one of the team members on +61 2 9515 3636 or sydneyalcoholtreatmentgroup@gmail.com for more information about this trial.

Patients seeking help for their alcohol problems must be aged between 18 and 75 years, and be willing to attend regular medical and brief counselling/research appointments for a period of 12 weeks.

Participation in all trials is completely free of charge and you will be reimbursed for your time and travel at the final follow-up appointments. 

Our programs

We are unique in having a collection of researchers working in every area of addiction medicine, from epidemiology to clinical intervention trials and laboratory studies.

For many years we have worked with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in New South Wales, the Northern Territory and South Australia to address substance use.

The Indigenous substance use program responds to the needs and priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and agencies. We aim to:

  • train, foster and champion Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander academics, clinicians and policymakers
  • determine appropriate and effective ways to prevent substance misuse in Indigenous communities (including alcohol, tobacco, volatiles or illicit drugs)
  • determine appropriate and effective ways of treating substance use by conducting clinically focused research and through refining models of clinical service delivery
  • conduct ethically designed research that brings direct benefits to Indigenous communities.
  • inform evidence-based policy development.
Research themes

Indigenous addiction medicine research is divided into the following themes:

  1. redefining treatment
  2. understanding substance use
  3. screening and intervention
  4. knowledge translation
  5. workforce development.

The drink-less program is a practical package designed to assist primary healthcare workers to screen for alcohol related problems and offer appropriate advice to patients on drinking.

Program resources

Our people

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