A project that will shed light on early life factors related to teen binge drinking has been awarded nearly half a million dollars in the latest NHMRC funding round.
Researchers from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at the University of New South Wales will sift through evidence from 10,000 young people, in four established cohorts, to identify the developmental factors associated with low risk, moderate risk and high risk teen drinking and the psychosocial consequences.
“Drinking excessively during the teen and young adult years is increasingly common and is a major concern for the community,” said chief investigator of the study UNSW Professor Richard Mattick. “Improving our knowledge about the early developmental pathways to teen drinking will help us better prevent and treat alcohol use in adolescents and young adults.”
NDARC’s Professor Louisa Degenhardt, Dr Delyse Hutchinson and Dr Edmund Silins are chief investigators on the study along with collaborators from the Universities of Otago, Deakin and Queensland and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.
Dr Briony Larance received an early career fellowship to further her research on opioid dependence. Dr Monica Barrett, who joins the Drug Policy Modelling Program from the National Drug Research Institute in Perth, also received an early career research fellowship for her research in psychoactive substances and the internet.
NDARC staff will also collaborate with a number of research centres and universities on other successful NHMRC grants commencing in 2014:
- Associate Professor Anthony Shakeshaft, Professor Michael Farrell and Professor Richard Mattick are investigators on a $1.4 million study investigating approaches to improving alcohol treatment service models and outcomes, led by Professor Robert Sanson-Fisher at the University of Newcastle.
- Professor Louisa Degenhardt is an investigator on a linkage study looking at health outcomes in at-risk groups who inject drugs, including sex workers and homeless youth, led by UNSW’s Dr Bradley Mathers.
- Dr David Allsop of the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre is an investigator on a study looking at the role of exercise in cannabis withdrawal, led by Dr Nicholas Lintzeris at the University of Sydney.
- Dr Marian Shanahan of the Drug Policy Modelling Program is an investigator on a $900,000 grant investigating suicide prevention among young indigenous people using e-health technologies.
- Dr Michael Livingston of the Drug Policy Modelling Program is an investigator on a grant led by Professor Robin Room further developing his research on alcohol’s harms to others.
The NHMRC funding round for 2013 was announced by Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton on 23 October 2103.