South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)
Building a healthy nation through research and innovation


Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit


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Current Projects 

List of core projects

Project title

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Email address of key investigator


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.


To better determine whether and under what circumstances alcohol is a causal factor for HIV and to quantify the proportion of HIV infections attributable to alcohol and the effect of alcohol on HIV disease progression.


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.


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.


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.


The 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.


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Last updated:
29 February, 2016
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