Alexander Mario Baldacchino

Prof, Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry and Addictions, Retired Consultant Psychiatrist, NHS Fife, Chair World Psychiatric Association (WPA) Addiction Psychiatry Section, Immediate Past President and Distinguished Fellow of the International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM)

  • KY16 9TF

    United Kingdom

Accepting Postgraduate Research Students

Personal profile

Research overview

My main research interest lies in improving the lives of individuals with a history of substance misuse problems. My research portofolios have a common thread of understanding the comorbid conditions (physical and psychological) arising as a result of chronic abuse of pharmacological agents with dependence potential especially opioids and alcohol. I am interested in utilising informatic systems, clinical outcome data, neuropsychological and neuroimaging processes amongst many other possibilities in order to identify and minimise risks present in this patient population

I graduated as a doctor in Malta in 1987 gaining my MD in the process. I eventually decided to study psychiatry as my clinical specialisation following a period of internal medicine jobs. I therefore joined the basic and higher psychiatric schemes in the UK (Cambridge, Edinburgh, Fife and London) in order to fulfil my requirements as a general psychiatrist and as a specialist in addiction medicine. I was awarded my MRCPsych in 1994, FRCPsych in 2007 and FRCPE in 2016. Always interested in research and teaching I pursued a clinical academic career along side my basic medical and higher psychiatric training. I joined as a lecturer and senior lecturer with St George's Hospital Medical School in London and then with Ninewells Hospital Medical School in Dundee. I was awarded my MPhil in Psychiatry from the University of Edinburgh in 1996 and a PhD in Medicine from the University of Dundee in 2012.

Currently I am chair for the World Psychiatrc Association (WPA) Addiction Psychiatry Section and Past Immediate President and Distinguished Fellow of the International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM) I am also founding member for the European Network for Training, Education and Research (ENTER)-Mental Health. Other previous positions include Associate Director for the Social Dimensions of Health Institute (SDHI), NHS Fife Research and Development (R&D) Director, Clinical Director in Addiction Medicine with NHS Fife and President for ISAMDundee2015 World Congress.

Last but certainly not least I am honoured to have spent 40 years of my professional time with patients who needed the best of clinical care and compassion which, I hope I made a difference in their and their families' quality of life.

My hobbies include hill walking, swimming and gardening

Academic/Professional Qualification

Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (Edinburgh) (FRCPE) 2016

PhD Medicine (University of Dundee) 2012

Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (FRCPsych) 2007

MPhil in Psychiatry (University of Edinburgh) 1996

MD (University of Malta) 1987

Projects from former institutions

Previous research activities

Use and misuse of opioid prescribing across Scotland – rates, quality, variations and explanations. Chief Scientist Office (CSO): 2013-2015(£145,055). Baldacchino as CA.


CAMILLE Project: Empowerment of children and adolescents of mentally ill parents through the training of professionals working with children and adolescents. EU funded project: European Commission: Daphne: 2013-2015(70,000 Euros).  Baldacchino as CI.


Functional and structural neuroimaging and neuropsychological function as a result of chronic exposure to methadone (f/sNEMO study): Anonymous Trust (£9,950), Schering Plough unrestricted grant (£50,000) and other funds (£20,000): 2010-2015. Baldacchino as CI.


Neuropsychological consequences of chronic methadone use. NHS Fife R&D Bursary 2014-2015 (£17,000) Baldacchino as Chief Investigator (CI).


Clinician-patient interaction during addiction consultation and drug overdose risk (Clipid study). 2013-2015 (£15,000). Baldacchino as CA.


Maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy study: The first stage of

a community health study in Fife. NHS Fife R&D Bursary: 2013-2014(£15,000). Baldacchino as CA


Using informatics to undertake a retrospective clinical audit of buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone®) and methadone-prescribed patients with opioid dependence in East Scotland. Reckitt-Benckiser unrestricted educational grant: 2013-2014 (£56,220). 


Alcohol dependence and acamprosate adherence in Scotland. An retrospective and opportunistic study.Merk-Serono unrestricted educational grant: 2012-2013 (£73,470).


Neuropsychological consequences of chronic opiate use (NEMO Study). Part time PhD: 2005-2012.

Substance Misuse Information Tayside (SUMIT) Project: Effective management of information to maximize the delivery of care treatment and recovery in drug and alcohol misusers.NHS Tayside and Dundee/Perth and Kinross/Angus ADPs pump priming grant: 2010-2014 (£300,000).


Overdose Risk InfOrmatioN (ORION) Project. European Commission: Justice, Freedom and Security: 2011-2013 (502,695 Euros).


Testing in Recreational-settings prevention-Interventions addressed to Polydrug users (TRIP) Project. European Commission: Justice, Freedom and Security: 2011-2013 (442,210 Euros).


Drug prevention in non educational settings. European Commission: 2009-2010 (25,000 Euros).


Consequences of chronic opiate pregnancy on the developmental and other childhood domains. ESRC/MRC Scholarship: 2010-2013 (£68,000).


The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of opportunistic screening and stepped care interventions for older hazardous alcohol users in primary care (AESOP) - a randomised control trial. UK NIHR HTP: 2008-2010.


Utilising a psychological autopsy techniques to suicides in Fife. Choose Life Campaign(Fife): 2008-2010 (£6,800).

Review of preventable risks of fatal overdose in heroin users.  EMCDDA, European Union: 2008-2010 (12,000 Euros).


Is routine data of sufficient quality to help determine the overlap between drug related deaths, overdose episodes and suicides in Fife? EDROS: a prospective feasibility study. EastRen Bursary: 2007-2010 (£15,500).


Improvement of access to treatment for people with alcohol and drug-related problems (IATPAD).European Commission Public Health Directorate: 2007-2009 (867,870 Euros).


Barriers to opioid addiction in chronic non-cancer pain patients by healthcare staff: its effect on clinical practice: a pilot study. EastRen NHS R&D Research Bursary: 2008-2009 (£15,000).


Evaluation of the Tayside Intensive Substance Misuse Programmes and Enhanced Arrest Referral Schemes. Criminal Justice Authority: 2008-2009 (£40,000).


Developing a homelessness and drug/alcohol cohort dataset from routine information. Chief Scientist Office (CSO): 2005-2007 (£22,499).

Tayside methadone prospective study: 2005-2006 (£15,000).


Evaluation of the East Central Scotland Addiction Services Managed Care Network (ECSAS MCN). EastRen NHS R&D Research Bursary: 2005-2006 (£14.500).


European Mental Health Integrated Through Learning, Implementation and Action (EMILIA Project). European Commission 6th Framework Programme, Integrated Project: 2005-2008 (11 million Euros).


Integrated Services at dual diagnosis and Optimal Recovery from Addictions (ISADORA Project).European Commission 6th Framework Programme (DG 12 Directorate): 2003-2005 (1.2 million Euros).


Co-Morbid mental health and substance misuse problems across Scotland. Scottish Executive: 2003-2005 (£85,000).


National investigation into drug related deaths in Scotland, 2003.Scottish Executive: 2003-2005 (£193,517).


Drugs and Psychosis: A cross-cultural multicentre study to determine the nature, extent and management of drug related mental health problems in Europe: European Commission 5th Framework Programme (DG12 Directorate): 2002-2005 (750,000 Euros).


Internet and drug addiction: Psychonaut 2002. European Commission: Public Health Directorate: 2002-2004 (500,000 Euros).


Does coexistent chronic non-cancer pain and opioid dependency influence drug-seeking behaviour, crime and health-service utilization?Tayside University  Hospital  R&D Grant Scheme: 2003-2004 (£6,432).


Occupational Stress with Mental Health Clients in Acute Response (OSCAR).European Commission 5th Framework Programme (DG12 Directorate): 2001-2003 (1.2 million Euros).


TREAT 2000. European Commission (DG12): 2001-2003.


Documenting dual diagnosis: an epidemiological case-controlled study. East Anglia R&D Consortium: 2001-2002 (£90,000).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Philosophy, Psychiatry, Edinburgh University

Award Date: 12 Jun 1997

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, University of Malta

Award Date: 8 Jul 1987

Royal College of Psychiatrists

Doctor of Medicine, University of Dundee

External positions

Honorary Professor, University of Dundee

1 Nov 2016 → …

Clinical Senior Lecturer, University of Dundee

1 Feb 200130 Oct 2015


  • R Medicine (General)
  • Psychiatry
  • Addiction
  • Inequalities
  • Vulnerable populations


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