Adrian's cover image
Adrian

Adrian DUNLOP

Year of Award: 2005 Award State: Victoria Health And Medicine > Obstetrics And Paediatrics
The Jack Brockhoff Foundation Churchill Fellowship to improve the health care of both pregnant women who are addicted to heroin, and their babies - USA, Canada, U.K., Sweden, Austria, Norway
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Dr Adrian Dunlop’s 2005 Fellowship took him to the United States and Canada, as well as France, the United Kingdom, Austria, Sweden and Norway. He wanted to learn about methods to improve the healthcare of heroin-addicted mothers and their babies.

When he was awarded the Fellowship he was just beginning his journey to improve the health and the lives of this disadvantaged group of people and he says that the contacts he made in the United States, the United Kingdom and elsewhere were crucial to his thinking about how to improve policy and how to advance the science to develop better clinical treatments. These concepts have further developed over the following years. The people he was able to meet were the key international players and pioneers in this field and they taught him a great deal.

His goal became to have the highest proportion possible of people with drug and alcohol problems be able to access evidence-based treatment since this was clearly the most effective policy. However, he points out, in the addiction field what happens is not always what is based on strong evidence.

Adrian says that the Fellowship was ‘fantastic, really useful, and changed the way I think’ in terms of understanding the legitimacy of what he wanted to achieve. It also gave him the time to reflect about his precise goals about what he wanted to do and why. The contacts he made led to many visits from overseas experts to exchange information that significantly contributed to the growth of this field in Australia, and this continues today.

Afterwards he became head of Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, Fitzroy and is now Chief Addiction Medicine Specialist with New South Wales Health, Director of Drug and Alcohol Clinical Services with Hunter New England Health and Conjoint Professor at the University of Newcastle in the School of Medicine and Public Health.

Adrian was a lead author on the New South Wales Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Drug Use in Pregnancy, Birth and Postnatal Period. He has provided policy advice to the NSW Ministry of Health in the recent funding enhancement ($6 million a year for four years, initially) of clinical services for this group and their children. He continues to be involved in clinical research studies to develop better evidence on treatment for these populations.

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