Government notes value of expert advice at Centre for Addiction Research launch

09 August 2013

The University of Auckland’s Centre for Addiction Research was officially opened on Friday 9 August at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences’ Grafton campus. The Centre undertakes research into the harmful use of alcohol, illicit and prescription drugs, tobacco and gambling, and covers public health policy, social research, and clinical research.

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Director of the Centre for Addiction Research Associate Professor Janie Sheridan is joined at the Centre's opening by, l to r: University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon, ASB Visiting Professor Thomas Babor, Associate Minister of Health Hon. Todd McClay and Dean of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences Professor John Fraser

Alcohol, illicit drug use, and gambling all have an impact on individuals and society, said the Associate Minister for Health, the Hon Todd McClay at the launch. “I expect this centre will make a considerable contribution to the body of international research and the work done in New Zealand. Our job in Wellington is better when based on the advice of experts and they can help us to get it right,”  he said. The presence of the minister at the CFAR launch “…signals that the Government is supportive of this research and seeks to understand the impact addictions have on people in our society,” said the Dean of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Professor John Fraser.

“We have links with treatment centres and the community, and this interaction works well in both directions,” says Associate Professor Janie Sheridan, director of the Centre, “It enables us to collaborate with our community and clinical colleagues on research ideas, and also to recruit participants for our studies through those links.” “It’s exciting that we are an interdisciplinary group that embraces a broad spectrum of research from bio-medical to population studies,” she said. “We hope to build addictions research capability in New Zealand.”

The Centre brings its multidisciplinary perspective to a number of research themes including research into novel tobacco cessation therapies, investigating more effective ways of delivering addiction treatment, and examining the impact of new legislation on drug and alcohol consumption patterns in New Zealand. 2013 ASB Visiting Professor Thomas Babor spoke at the Centre opening and said it had a “broad translational role, taking what we learn from the lab, from people and from the community and translating that research into practical applications.”

Find out more in the launch media release