Global substance use and mental health

Researchers within the Global substance use and mental health unit, within the Centre for Health Services Research, contribute to the understanding of public/personal health harms associated with drug and alcohol use. The Unit’s members use epidemiological, longitudinal and bio-statistical methods, drawing on both public health and criminological theories, to better understand policy responses to drug and alcohol problems at the local, state and national levels.

The unit is led by Professor Jason Ferris.


  • Professor Jason Ferris

    Professor in Alcohol and Drug Epidemiology
    Professorial Research Fellow
    Centre for Health Services Research
    Program Leader
    Global Substance Use and Mental Health Unit
    Research and Statistical Support Service (RASSS)
  • Mark Hoffmann

    Mr Mark Hoffmann

    Senior Manager, Research Administration and Management
    Centre for Health Services Research
  • Andrew Jones

    Dr Andrew Jones

    Senior Statistician
    Centre for Health Services Research
  • Liz Ryan

    Dr Elizabeth Ryan

    Senior Statistician & Honorary Research Fellow
    Centre for Health Services Research
  • Dr Farah Zahir

    Senior Biostatistician
    Centre for Health Services Research
  • Mr Callum Macfarlane

    Casual Research Assistant
    Centre for Health Services Research

Current research areas and projects include:

  • The Queensland evaluation of the Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Policy (QUANTEM)
  • Global comparisons of substance use-related trends using data from the Global Drug Survey
  • Modelling the geospatial and temporal effects of random breath testing and alcohol-related road traffic accidents: Using Queensland data to inform USA practice
  • Data linkage of administrative datasets to provide more accurate estimates of the impact of drug and alcohol use on health services
  • Reducing smoking-related harms among former prisoners
  • Drug and alcohol data triangulation: the complementary use of survey data and wastewater data to better understand drug and alcohol epidemiology
  • The evaluation of ProjectSTOP (a decision-making national database for pharmacists aimed at preventing the use of pseudoephedrine based products as a precursor in the manufacture of methamphetamine)
  • Drugs and the darknet: assessing the global health risk