Prof Alex Baldacchino

Prof Alex Baldacchino
Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry and Addictions



data source: symbiosis

Research Overview from research@st-andrews

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 specialisiation 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 fulfill 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.

I am a Executive Board Member and Chair for the training and education Committee and, recently, President Elect 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 positions include Associate Director for the Social Dimensions of Health Institute (SDHI), NHS Fife Research and Development (R&D) Director, and President for ISAMDundee2015 World Congress.

Last but certainly not least I am honoured to spend time with patients who need the best of clinical care and compassion which, I hope, makes a difference in their quality of life.

My hobbies are hill walking, swimming and gardening


Recent publications listed in research@st-andrews
25 (of 80 published available) for amb30 (source: University of St Andrews PURE)
Please click title of any item for full details

Buprenorphine/naloxone and methadone opioid replacement therapy Brian Kidd, Charlotte Renwick, Steve Parrott, Keith Matthews, Alexander Mario Baldacchino
Journal of Addiction & Addictive Disorders 2019 vol.6 
Chronic tobacco smoking and neuropsychological impairments Lauren McLean, Serenella Tolomeo, Douglas Steele, Alexander Mario Baldacchino
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 2019 vol.96 pp.143-154
Cognitive consequences of opioid use Alexander Mario Baldacchino, Douglas Steele, Fleur Davey, Serenella Tolomeo
 2019 
Is (poly-) substance use associated with impaired inhibitory control? A mega-analysis controlling for confounders Yang Liu, Wery P.M. van den Wildenberg, Ysanne de Graaf, Susan L. Ames, Alexander Mario Baldacchino, Ragnhild Bø, Fernando Cadaveira, Salvatore Campanella, Paul Christiansen, Eric D. Claus, Lorenzo S. Colzato, Francesca M. Filbey, John J. Foxe, Hugh Garavan, Christian S. Hendershot, Robert Hester, Jennifer M. Jester, Hollis C. Karoly, Anja Kräplin, Fanny Kreusch, Nils Inge Landrø, Marianne Littel, Sabine Löber, Edythe D. London, Eduardo López-Caneda, Dan I. Lubman, Maartje Luijten, Cecile A. Marczinski, Jane Metrik, Catharine Montgomery, Harilaos Papachristou, Su Mi Park, Andres L. Paz, Géraldine Petit, James J. Prisciandaro, Boris B. Quednow, Lara A. Ray, Carl A. Roberts, Gloria M.P. Roberts, Michael B. de Ruiter, Claudia I. Rupp, Vaughn R. Steele, Delin Sun, Michael Takagi, Susan F. Tapert, Ruth J. van Holst, Antonio Verdejo-Garcia, Matthias Vonmoos, Marcin Wojnar, Yuanwei Yao, Murat Yücel, Martin Zack, Robert A. Zucker, Hilda M. Huizenga, Reinout Wiers
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews  vol.In press 
Profiles of visuospatial memory dysfunction in opioid exposed and dependent populations Alexander Mario Baldacchino, Serenella Tolomeo, David Balfour, Keith Matthews
Psychological Medicine 2019 vol.49 pp.1174-1184
Alcohol policies in Malawi Misheck Nkhata, Alexander Mario Baldacchino, Jennifer Wisdom, Bagrey Ngwira
BMC Public Health 2018 vol.18 
Alcohol use disorders in people with intellectual disability Fionnuala Williams, Christos Kouimtsidis, Alexander Mario Baldacchino
BJPsych Advances 2018 vol.24 pp.264-272
Association of opioid prescribing practices with chronic pain and benzodiazepine co-prescription Nicola Torrance, Rashid Mansoor, Huan Wang, Steve Gilbert, C. J MacFarlane, Mick Serpell, Alexander Mario Baldacchino, Tim Hales, Peter Donnan, G Wyper, Blair Smith, Lesley Colvin
British Journal of Anaesthesia 2018 vol.120 pp.1345-1355
Comparing neurocognitive function in individuals receiving chronic methadone or buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid dependence Duncan Hill, Daniel Garner, Alexander Mario Baldacchino
Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems 2018 vol.20 pp.35-49
Compulsivity in opioid dependence Serenella Tolomeo, Keith Matthews, Douglas Steele, Alexander Mario Baldacchino
Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry 2018 vol.81 pp.333-339
Investigating the effect of Alcohol Brief Interventions within Accident & Emergency departments using data informatics methodology Alexander Mario Baldacchino, Louise O'Rourke, Gerald Michael Humphris
Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2018 vol.188 pp.47-52
Engagement in an e-Health Tool (ORION) predicts opioid-dependent patient likelihood of behavioural change Gerald Michael Humphris, Giuseppe Carra, Martin Frisher, Joanne Elizabeth Cecil, Norbert Scherbaum, Ilana Crome, Alexander Mario Baldacchino
Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems 2017 vol.19 pp.35-44
Engagement in the Overdose RIsk InfOrmatioN (ORION) e-Health tool for opioid overdose prevention and self-efficacy Giuseppe Carrà, Cristina Crocamo, Gerald Michael Humphris, Tommaso Tabacchi, Bartoli Francesco, Julia Neufeind, Norbert Scherbaum, Alexander Mario Baldacchino
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking 2017 vol.20 pp.762-768
Neuropsychological functioning and chronic methadone use Alexander Mario Baldacchino, Michael Armanyous, David Balfour, Gerald Michael Humphris, Keith Matthews
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 2017 vol.73 pp.23-38
Staff regard towards working with patients who have co-morbid depression and substance misuse disorders Gail Gilchrist, Ferran Marsa Sambola, Alexander Mario Baldacchino
Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems 2017 vol.19 pp.5-16
Acute risk factors in fatal opioid overdoses as a result of hypoxia and cardiotoxicity. A systematic review and critical appraisal Alexander Mario Baldacchino, Serenella Tolomeo, Faisel Khan, Gerald Michael Humphris, Giuseppe Carra
Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems 2016 vol.18 pp.33-42
Decision support in addiction: the development of an e-health tool to assess and prevent risk of fatal overdose. The ORION project Alexander Mario Baldacchino, C. Crocamo, Gerald Michael Humphris, M Frisher, G Carrà
Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine 2016 vol.133 pp.207-216
Electronic communication based interventions for hazardous young drinkers Louise O'Rourke, Gerald Michael Humphris, Alexander Mario Baldacchino
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 2016 vol.68 pp.880-890
Multifaceted impairments in impulsivity and brain structural abnormalities in opioid dependence and abstinence Serenella Tolomeo, S. Gray, Keith Matthews, Douglas Steele, Alexander Mario Baldacchino
Psychological Medicine 2016 vol.46 pp.2841-2853
Erratum: Neurobehavioral consequences of chronic intrauterine opioid exposure in infants and preschool children: a systematic review and meta-analysis Alexander Mario Baldacchino, Kathleen Arbuckle, Dennis J. Petrie, Colin McCowan
BMC Psychiatry  2015 vol.15 
Impulsivity and opioid drugs Alexander Mario Baldacchino, D. J. K. Balfour, K. Matthews
Psychological Medicine 2015 vol.45 pp.1167-1179
Abnormal brain activity during a reward and loss task in opiate dependent patients receiving methadone maintenance therapy Victoria B. Gradin, Alexander Mario Baldacchino, David Balfour, Keith Matthews, J. Douglas Steele
Neuropsychopharmacology 2014 vol.39 pp.885-894
Association between depression and non-fatal overdoses among drug users Francesco Bartoli, Giuseppe Carrà, Giulia Brambilla, Daniele Carretta, Cristina Crocamo, Alexander Mario Baldacchino, Gerald Michael Humphris, Massimo Clerici
Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2014 vol.134 pp.12-21
Neurobehavioral consequences of chronic intrauterine opioid exposure in infants and preschool children Alexander Mario Baldacchino, Kathleen Arbuckle, Dennis J. Petrie, Colin McCowan
BMC Psychiatry  2014 vol.14 
Predictors of service use of patients with co-morbid mental health and substance use disorders across seven European sites Alexander Mario Baldacchino, L. B. Merinder, M. Gervin, C. Lack, J. Meder, J. Sieroslawski, T. Greacen, E. Hyldager, C. Clancy, M. Sorsa, H. Laijarvi, K. Charzynska, K. Baeck-Moller
Mental Health and Substance Use: Dual Diagnosis 2014 vol.7 pp.31-58