South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)
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Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit


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Current Projects 

List of core projects

Project title Short description Email address of key investigator
SACENDU The South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (SACENDU) is an ongoing ATOD use trends monitoring project, focussing on data collected from substance abuse treatment centres on presenting patients. Data are collected six-monthly in all nine provinces in South Africa
SQM & SQM  W-C PILOT The aim of the Service Quality Metrics (SQM) project is to design and conduct a consumer survey of the quality and performance of substance abuse treatment services. This survey will be linked to administrative record data on treatment completion and service outcomes. This project will be piloted in facilities in KZN, Gauteng and the Western Cape.
CODEMISUSED The research aims to quantify the extent of codeine use, misuse and dependence in Ireland, United Kingdom and South Africa, with focus on therapeutic and non-therapeutic use, so as to create user profiles of use and abuse and capture individual user, pharmacy, medic and treatment provider perspectives. Data will be used to inform the design of pharmacy based brief interventions and customer monitoring systems, continuing staff training and management of appropriate treatment interventions.
INTERNATIONAL ALCOHOL CONTROL (IAC) STUDY The International Alcohol Control (IAC) study is one of numerous studies on alcohol policy being conducted in various developing and developed countries around the world. The key aims of the South African arm of the IAC study are to assess the impact of existing and changing alcohol policies on alcohol consumption among a general population sample of older adolescents (aged 16-17 years), and adults (aged 18-65 years) who have consumed alcohol in Tshwane, South Africa.
FLAGSHIP This MRC research project is a randomised controlled trial being conducted in clinics in Tshwane among people who are living with HIV (PLWHA) who are on antiretroviral medication and who drink at hazardous or harmful levels. The aim of the study is to assess the efficacy of an intervention for hazardous/harmful drinking in reducing alcohol consumption, and improving ART adherence and HIV treatment outcomes among PLWHA.
SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF ALCOHOL CONTROL POLICIES The aim of this project is to conduct an overview of systematic reviews of alcohol control policy interventions between 2006 and 2015 to 1) identify the current evidence for each intervention; 2) appraise the methodological rigour of each review; and 3) synthesize the summarised evidence and quality thereof. We will follow the methods for umbrella reviews used by the Cochrane Collaboration.
PROJECT MIND This project, funded by the British MRC, involves developing a feasible, acceptable and effective collaborative care model for delivering a brief intervention for alcohol and depression to patients receiving chronic disease care in the Western Cape. Through a cluster randomized controlled trial we are comparing the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of two models of collaborative care against treatment as usual for patients receiving  HIV or diabetes treatment. Facilities will be trained to deliver the model that is found to work best.
PRETREATMENT COOP This NIH-funded project involves developing and initially testing a trauma-informed intervention for young substance-using women with trauma exposure. Specifically we are seeking substance-suing women in emerging adulthood with histories of trauma, testing for HIV, and providing them with a trauma-informed substance abuse treatment programme before linking them to ongoing supportive services.  We are piloting this intervention to gather initial findings about its feasibility, acceptability and outcomes.
TRUST (ALCOHOL AND TB) This NIAAA funded project is being conducted in collaboration with Boston University.  It is a longitudinal cohort study that seeks to unpack the impact of alcohol use on TB treatment outcomes, as well as the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics effects of alcohol on TB medication.  This study is being conducted in Worcester.
SQM initiative This is a performance measurement system that routinely collects data on patient reported outcomes and perceptions of the quality and accessibility of substance abuse treatment services.  It is currently being implemented in substance abuse treatment services in the Western Cape and is funded by the DoSD.
YOUNG WOMEN’S HEALTH COOP This RTI funded study is a randomised controlled trial working with adolescent females (aged 16-19 years old). It aims to increase uptake of HIV testing and counselling (HTC) among out-of-school, substance-using adolescent females and test the efficacy of a comprehensive gender-focused HTC intervention in Cape Town, South Africa, with peers as co-facilitators of the intervention.
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Last updated:
10 June, 2016
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