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The National Addiction Centre (NAC) staff currently consists five joint clinical-academic staff, one research fellow and one secretarial support staff. The academic staff consists of three psychiatrists, one clinical psychologist and a nurse. All academic positions have a clinical component in the alcohol and drug treatment field. This is viewed as crucial for the linkage between the NAC and the treatment field, in addition to a strong emphasis on consultation/liaison.

Professor Doug Sellman (Director) MBChB PhD FRANZCP FAChAM

Doug graduated MBChB from the University of Otago in 1980 and then completed postgraduate training in psychiatry in Christchurch, New Zealand, gaining his FRANZCP in 1987. He was appointed as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychological Medicine at the Christchurch School of Medicine in 1991 and research subsequently led to the completion of a PhD under the supervision of Professor Peter Joyce on the topic of "Alcoholic Relapse", in 1997. He was promoted to a Personal Chair in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine in 2005 and was a foundation member of the Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine in 2002.

He took a leading role in the successful tendering for the National Addiction Centre (formerly known as the National Centre for Treatment Development (Alcohol, Drugs & Addiction) and has been Director of the Centre from its outset in 1996.

Collaborating with colleagues and supervising research students, he is currently involved in a full range of alcohol, drug and addiction related projects.

Doug has been active in the development of alcohol and drug teaching at the Christchurch School of Medicine & Health Sciences over the past fifteen years. He developed a two-week inter-departmental block course for fifth-year medical students which has been running since 1995. He has also been instrumental in the development of a Postgraduate Diploma in Addiction & Coexisting Disorders through the University of Otago, which is now available nationally to a multidisciplinary group of students.

His clinical work since graduation as a psychiatrist in 1987 has been in the alcohol and drug area, and since 1994 he has been consultant to the alcohol and drug stream of the Youth Specialty Service in Christchurch, a specialist mental health service for people aged 13-18 years.

He is an enthusiastic member of the Harewood Golf Course in Christchurch and an active opponent of dieting, gym attendance and declaring war on anything.

Contact: doug.sellman@otago.ac.nz


Assoc Prof Simon Adamson (Senior Lecturer, Deputy Director Research) PhD, DipClinPsyc, MNZCCP, DAPAANZ (Competent Practitioner)

Simon received his PhD from the University of Otago in 2004 for a dissertation titled "Clinical Predictors of Treatment Outcome for Alcohol Use Disorders" and also graduated with Distinction from the University of Canterbury in 1997, having completed a Masters Thesis entitled "Drug Use and Crime in a Christchurch Sample of Opioid Dependent Drug Users". He currently works as a Senior Clinical Psychologist at the Christchurch Methadone Programme and has worked within the Community Alcohol and Drug Services since 1996. Simon was appointed to the National Addiction Centre as Lecturer in May 1997and promoted to Associate Professor in 2013.

Research projects Simon is currently involved in include:

  • Principal investigator of the 2008 National Telephone Survey of the addiction treatment workforce.
  • Principal investigator of the Moana House Evaluation Project.
  • Co-investigator of the Treatment Evaluation of Alcohol and Mood (TEAM) Study, a randomised controlled trial of the treatment of comorbid alcohol dependence and depression with combined pharmacotherapy and active clinical casemanagement.
  • Principal investigator of the Cannabis Use Disorders Identification Test (CUDIT) refinement study.
  • Co-investigator of Opioid Dependence in New Zealand, a study designed to estimate the prevalence of opioid dependence, the demand for treatment and barriers to that treatment.

Simon's teaching responsibilities include coordination of PSMX 416 "Applied Theory of Addiction and Coexisting Disorders".

Simon is the father of three boys. He enjoys tramping, the occasional mountain bike ride, reading and music. A daily pleasure is cycling to work.

Contact: simon.adamson@otago.ac.nz


Dr Fraser Todd (Senior Lecturer) PhD, MBChB FRANZCP FAChAM

Fraser graduated from the University of Otago in 1985, undertook training in psychiatry in London and Christchurch and gained his FRANZCP in 1997. He has been employed in the position of Senior Lecturer at the NAC, University of Otago, Christchurch, since March 1997. He also works as a consultant psychiatrist at Youth Specialty Services, Hillmorton Hospital, and is the Senior Clinical Advisor at Matua Raki (National Addiction Workforce Development).

His areas of special interest include cannabis and coexisting substance use and mental health problems. He headed the development of guidelines for the "Assessment and Management of People with Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders" undertaken at the NAC, and is involved in research into the effects of alcohol and cannabis use on the presentation and outcome of people admitted with a first episode of psychosis.

Fraser is also involved in a range of teaching activities. He is coordinating PSMX 404 "Assessment of Addiction and Coexisting Disorders" and also has involvement with the other postgraduate papers offered by the NAC.

Contact: fraser.todd@otago.ac.nz


Dr Daryle Deering (Deputy Director - Liaison) PhD, RN

Daryle has been on the academic staff of the NAC since 1997. She is a registered nurse and has worked extensively in the alcohol and drug and youth and family mental health areas since 1980 as a clinician and a manager. Her particular interests have been in therapeutic practice and collaborative service development. She has a long-standing interest in promoting nursing within the alcohol and drug treatment field with a particular focus on advanced practice and, more broadly, nurses competencies in working with people with alcohol and drug problems/disorders and co-existing disorders in a range of settings. Between 2000 and August 2007 her joint clinical position was Director of Mental Health Nursing Practice for the Canterbury Area Health Board. Her current clinical component involves working with participants in the Treatment of Alcohol and Mood (TEAM) study.

Daryle received her PhD from the University of Otago in 2007 for a dissertation titled "Methadone Maintenance Treatment in New Zealand". Her Master of Health Sciences degree was award in 1997 with distinction. Her thesis was titled "Opioid Dependence, Methadone Treatment and the Measurement of In-Treatment Outcome".

She was a project co-ordinator, together with Terry Huriwai, for the development of ALAC commissioned Guidelines for Alcohol and Drug Agency Clinical Process Self-evaluation. Her current research activity includes:

  • Co-investigator of the New Zealand Treatment of Alcohol and Mood (TEAM) study, a randomised controlled pharmacotherapy trial.
  • Co-investigator of the 2008 National Telephone Survey of alcohol and drug treatment workers in dedicated alcohol and drug treatment settings, which will repeat the 1998 and 2004 surveys.
  • Co-principal investigator of Phase II of the National ADOPT Project (Alcohol and Drug Outcomes Project).
  • Co-investigator of the National Opioid Project.

Daryle is the course co-ordinator for PSMX 422 "Treatment of Addiction and Coexisting Disorders", with a focus on clinical case-management and therapeutic working with clients and significant others. In addition, she has input into a number of other National Addiction Centre papers with a focus on coexisting disorders.

Contact: daryle.deering@otago.ac.nz



Dr Ria Schroder (Research Fellow) PhD

Ria has been working at the NAC as a Research Fellow since 2004. Since working at the National Addiction Centre Ria has been involved in a number of research projects investigating ways of improving AOD treatment services for youth. These include the Youth Treatment Retention Study (YTRS) which examined factors affecting retention in youth AOD treatment programmes and an evaluation of the Odyssey House Christchurch Youth programme.

More recently Ria has developed an interest in addictive overeating and the role this may play in the current obesity epidemic. Her work in this area has involved studies that contribute towards better understanding of food addiction and treatment options for people with food addiction. Ria is currently the coordinator of the Kia Akina Obesity Recovery Network, a lifestyle change programme aimed at helping people with obesity to achieve permananet weight loss.

Ria is also the editor of the Addiction Treatment Research News (ATRN), a newsletter published three times a year by the Addiction Treatment Research Interest Group (ATRIG) and is co-editor of the Addiction Treatment Research Monograph (ATRM).

Outside of work, Ria enjoys spending time with friends and family and exploring the beach and forest with her beloved dog Sabina. Ria is also a keen cyclist, an occasional jogger and an avid fan of a good book.

Contact: ria.schroder@otago.ac.nz


Dr James Foulds (Clinical Senior Lecturer) MBChB FRANZCP

James graduated from the University of Otago in 1996 and completed specialist training in psychiatry in Melbourne in 2006. Since returning to Christchurch in 2008 he has worked as a Consultant Psychiatrist in Christchurch and on the West Coast.

James is the co-convenor of fourth year medical student teaching in addiction medicine. His research interests include the epidemiology of alcohol use, particularly in relation to mental health comorbidity, and the treatment of alcohol related mental illness.

His other areas of interest include occupational mental health and, in particular, mental illness and substance use in safety-sensitive industries such as mining and aviation.

Contact: james.foulds@otago.ac.nz


Lisa Andrews (Administrator/Secretary)

Lisa commenced administrative work at Sunnyside Hospital in 1987 and subsequently became the receptionist at Mahu Clinic, a multi-faceted alcohol and drug clinic which combined assessment, outpatient treatment, residential treatment and methadone treatment programmes. In 1993 she was offered a secretarial position in the Department of Psychological Medicine and in September 1996 was appointed secretary to the National Addiction Centre. Lisa's pivotal position means that she is involved in all activities and projects.



Department of Psychological Medicine
University of Otago, Christchurch
PO Box 4345, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
Telephone: +64-3-364-0480
Fax: +64-3-364-1225

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Last updated: August 2015