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PSME416 Addiction Applied Theory

A clinically-oriented theoretical paper addressing the phenomenology, aetiology, treatment and management of people with addiction and co-existing disorders.

PSME 416 is part of a postgraduate training programme offered by the National Addiction Centre, University of Otago, Christchurch, intended for a broad range of health professionals and colleagues in allied sectors who wish to study at a higher academic level and develop advanced clinical knowledge and skills in the addiction area.

Paper title Addiction Applied Theory
Paper code PSME416
Subject Psychological Medicine
EFTS 0.25
Points 30 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2021
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,889.00
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $10,674.00

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PSMX 416
Limited to
MHealSc, PGCertHealSc, PGCertPHC, PGDipHealSc, PGDipPHC
Offered on a national basis, this paper is aimed at those working in the addiction and broader mental health fields, whether in treatment, policy, health promotion, prevention or other areas. It is a companion paper to the clinical-skills-based alcohol and drug papers offered by the National Addiction Centre: one focused on comprehensive assessment and management planning (PSME 404), one on clinical case management and interventions (PSME 422), and the third on pharmacotherapy (PSME 424).
Judith Stone,
Teaching staff
Convenor: Associate Professor Simon Adamson
Paper Structure
Although the use of alcohol and other drugs is a feature of the paper, the content is broader and encompasses a range of addictive behaviours and coexisting disorders. The biological, psychological, and socio-cultural aspects of addiction and addictive behaviours will be covered, along with implications for current interventions and future developments in treatment.
Teaching Arrangements

PSME 416  is run in the second semester as a combination of one compulsory Christchurch-based 3-day block course, a series of weekly audioconferences held on Wednesdays between 4.00 pm and 5.30 pm, and web-based discussion of four cases throughout the paper to facilitate application of course content.

Access to all texts will be provided in the paper.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking, Cultural understanding.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of PSME 416 students will
  • Have a broad overview of addiction and addictive behaviours
  • Understand the overlap between addiction and other coexisting psychiatric disorders
  • Have a sound grasp of current biological, psychological and social theories of addiction and addictive behaviours
  • Understand the clinical implications of the knowledge base developed in the paper
  • Have completed a comprehensive review of a chosen topic in this area

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Mini review 10%
Project 35%
Project presentation 5%
Case discussion 10%
Written examination 40%

Further Information

Dr Simon Adamson
National Addiction Centre
Department of Psychological Medicine
University of Otago, Christchurch
PO Box 4345, Christchurch, New Zealand
Tel 64 3 372 6764


Judith Stone
Department of Psychological Medicine
University of Otago, Christchurch
PO Box 4345, Christchurch, New Zealand
Tel 64 3 372 6704

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Not offered in 2021

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system