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Intervention in adolescents with substance use


Early intervention for adolescent substance use in a paediatric hospital - the Service for Addiction Medicine in Youth (SAMY).


Professor Katharine Steinbeck.

Research location

Westmead - Childrens Hospital at Westmead Clinical School

Program type



Adolescents with substance use, primarily alcohol and cannabis, may present acutely to the Emergency Department at The Children's Hospital at Westmead with intoxication, with unintentional injury where substance use is identified later, or in general outpatients. They are referred for ongoing care to the Service for Addiction Medicine in Youth (SAMY), which is based in the Department of Adolescent Medicine. SAMY
is different to adult Drug & Alcohol Services where the focus is often pharmacological management of substance dependence. In SAMY the aim is to intervene before dependence occurs. The SAMY team works with young people and their families using a number of recognized management approaches in an ambulatory care setting. This project is to determine the longer term efficacy and outcomes of the program and the factors which predict successful engagement and outcomes. The protocol for this study and ethical clearance will have been completed by the end of 2013.This is an excellent and uncommon opportunity to undertake clinical research in a paediatric setting with adolescents who use substances.

Additional information

This project would suit an MPhil or PhD, given the time that would be required to follow subjects over 12 months. It is also an opportunity to work with an experienced adolescent research team in the Academic Department of Adolescent Medicine who will provide the primary supervision.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 515

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