Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon


    A clinical paper addressing assessment, formulation, treatment planning and communicating clinical findings, in people with addiction and co-existing disorders.

    This paper 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.

    About this paper

    Paper title Addiction Assessment
    Subject Psychological Medicine
    EFTS 0.25
    Points 30 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $3,103.25
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    PSMX 404
    Limited to
    MHealSc, PGCertHealSc, PGCertPHC, PGDipHealSc, PGDipPHC
    Students must have worked clinically for at least two years before commencing this paper, and at the time of study must be working clinically in a therapeutic setting.
    PSME 404 is designed primarily for clinicians working with people who have addiction and coexisting mental health disorders. This includes clinicians in dedicated alcohol and drug treatment and/or mental health services at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. All students will need to be working in a setting in which they are involved in the treatment of people who have alcohol and drug problems as part of their presentation.

    Teaching staff

    Convenor: Associate Professor Simon Adamson
    Lecturer Māori: Karaitiana Tickell
    Lecturer Pacific: Phil Siataga
    Consumer advisor: Martin Burke

    Paper Structure
    The paper is essentially divided into two parts:
    • Part A focuses on core topics relevant to the development of skills in comprehensive assessment and management planning for patients with significant alcohol and other drug problems and coexisting mental health disorders
    • Part B consists of three special topics of study: medical complications of alcohol and drug misuse; coexisting substance use and mental health disorders; cultural issues
    Teaching Arrangements

    This Distance Learning paper is a combination of remote and in-person teaching.

    PSME 404 will run in the first semester as a combination of one compulsory Christchurch-based block courses in late March/early April, a series of video-conference classes and web-based self-directed learning modules.


    Te Ariari o te Oranga: The Assessment and Management of People with Co-existing Mental Health and Substance Use Problems 2010, Fraser C. Todd, 2010.

    Interview Guide for Evaluating DSM 5 Psychiatric Disorders and the Mental Status Examination, M. Zimmerman, 2013.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Cultural understanding.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this paper students will:

    • Understand the range of approaches to screening and assessment of people with alcohol and drug problems
    • Be able to complete a comprehensive assessment of patients with moderate to severe alcohol and drug dependence
    • Formulate an appropriate management plan based on the findings of the comprehensive assessment
    • Communicate the findings of the assessment and management plan concisely and effectively
    • Communicate the findings of the assessment and management plan concisely and effectively via a written report
    • Conduct a feedback session to patients and significant others


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system
    Back to top