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Dr. Bobby Smyth

Clinical Associate Professor (Public Health & Primary Care)


  Addiction   Addiction and substance abuse   Addictions   ADOLESCENT   ADOLESCENT DRUG-USE   Adolescent Psychology   AETIOLOGY   Childhood and mental health   Development, prevention and treatment of mental disease or disorder   Educational disadvantage in children   Emotional, behavioural and cognitive disorders   Health attitudes and behaviour   Health outcomes   HEPATITIS C   INJECTION-DRUG USERS   Mental health and intellectual disability   Neurophysiology   Psychiatry   Psychometrics   Public health
Details Date
Chairperson of the General Population Survey (GPS) Research Advisory Group for the HRB. The GPS measures the prevalence of use of alcohol and other drugs using a general population sample from across Ireland. 2018-2019
Board Member of Alcohol Action Ireland Nov 2011 to date
Member of the Alcohol Health Alliance 2016 to 2019
Chairperson of the Treatment & Prevention Subcommittee of the National Advisory Committee on Drugs & Alcohol Aug 2013 to Oct 2015
Completed an external expert review of the Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal Services (ADAWS) which was based at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane, Australia. October 2016
Expert Advisory Group on alcohol, Public Health England 2014 - 2015
Addiction Faculty of the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland 2014 to 2019
Special Interest Group on Youth & Student Mental Health (College of Psychiatrists of Ireland) 2013 to 2019
Alcohol Policy Group of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) 2011 to 2018
National Advisory Committee on Drugs & Alcohol Aug 2013 to Oct 2015
Member of the Early Warning & Emerging trends Subcommittee of the National Advisory Committee on Drugs 2005 to 2011
Addiction Subgroup of the Expert Group on Mental Health (which drafted " A Vision for Change", Ireland's mental health strategy) Jan to Dec 2005
Adolescent Subgroup - HSE National Consent Advisory Group Dec 2011 to April 2013
National Addiction Training Program 2012 to 2015
Member of the Editorial Board of the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine 2018 to date
Journal review for Addiction, Alcohol and Alcoholism, PLoS One, BMJ Open Ophthalmology, Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Substance Abuse, BMC Public Health, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, Public Health Journal of Affective Disorders, Journal of Drug Issues, Journal of Addictive Diseases, Pediatric Drugs, Expert Review of Anti Infective Therapy, Mental Health and Substance Use, Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 2004 to date
Adviser to Aiseiri Aislinn in Kilkenny, the sole residential adolescent addiction treatment service in Ireland Sept 2011 to date
Details Date From Date To
College of Psychiatrists of Ireland 2010
Royal College of Psychiatrists 1997
Society for the Study of Addiction 1997
Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2004
Association for Child Psychology and Psychiatry 1998
Smyth, Bobby P, O"Farrell, Anne, Cullen, Walter, Drug-related medical hospital admissions during and after a period of head shop expansion, European Journal of Public Health, 2020, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Comiskey, C, James, P, Smyth, B, Journeying with fear: Young people's experiences of cannabis use, crime and violence before treatment entry, Journal of Child and Adolesc ent Psychiatric Nursing., 2020, p1 - 6, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Smyth BP, McCarney G., Treatment of Adolescent Heroin Dependence: The End of an Era., Irish medical journal, 113, (1), 2020, p2 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Smyth BP, Cannon M, Molodynski A, Curran HV, Eastwood N, Winstock AR., Would decriminalising personal use of cannabis lead to higher rates of mental illness?, BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 368, 2020, pl6975 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Smyth BP, Barry J, Financial Support by Billionaires for Research and Policy Analysis Should Be Subject to Disclosure Rules, Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 80, (2), 2019, p265 - 266, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Smyth Bobby P, Daly Antoinette, Elmusharaf Khalifa, McDonald Conor, Clarke Mary, Craig Sarah, Cullen Walter, Legislation targeting head shops selling new psychoactive substances and changes in drug-related psychiatric admissions: A national database study , Early intervention in psychiatry , 2019, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Smyth BP, O"Farrell A, Daly A., Cannabis use and Associated Health Problems: What's the Harm?, Irish medical journal, 112, (9), 2019, p1000 , Notes: [], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
James, Philip David, Comiskey, Catherine, Smyth, Bobby P., "Debt on Me Head": A Qualitative Study of the Experience of Teenage Cannabis Users in Treatment, Journal of Addictions Nursing, 30, (3), 2019, p211-218 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Smyth Bobby P, Elmusharaf Khalifa, Cullen Walter, Opioid substitution treatment and heroin dependent adolescents: reductions in heroin use and treatment retention over twelve months , BMC pediatrics , 18 , (1 ), 2018, p151 -, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Ivers JH, Zgaga L, Sweeney B, Keenan E, Darker C, Smyth BP, Barry J., A naturalistic longitudinal analysis of post-detoxification outcomes in opioid-dependent patients., Drug and Alcohol Review, 37, (S1), 2018, p339 - 347, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI

Page 1 of 8
James P, Kearns T, Campbell A & Smyth BP, Adolescents & Substance Use: The Handbook for professionals working with Young People, Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing Ltd, 2013, Book, PUBLISHED
The Childs Perspective in, editor(s)David B. Cooper , Responding in Mental Health-Substance Use , Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing Ltd, 2011, [James P, Smyth BP], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Barry S, Cannon M, Lawlor L, Smyth BP, What everyone should know about cannabis, Dublin, JOINT COMMITTEE ON ARTS, SPORT, TOURISM, COMMUNITY, RURAL & GAELTACHTAFFAIRS, GOVERNMENT PUBLICATION, June, 2006, Notes: [Outlines evidence of the known and probable harms related to cannabis use.], Report, PUBLISHED
Berney T, Black S, Checinski K, Crome I, Feinmann C, Gowers S, Hobbs M, Marsden A, Mahmood T, Smith E, Smyth R, Walden C, The mental health of students in Higher Education, London, Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2003, Notes: [Outlined prevalence of mental health problems among third level students, identified risk factors and advised on models of best practice for both prevention and treatment.], Report, PUBLISHED


Award Date
Margaret Davenport Prize (Royal College of Psychiatrists) 2000
Registrar's Prize ( Royal Acadamy of Medicine in Ireland) 1997
Mental health category of the HSE Open Access awards for 2018 5 Dec 2018
Merseyside Deanery Psychiatry Trainees Research Prize, Second place 30/3/2001
The overarching theme uniting almost all of my research output to date has been a focus on substance use and related harms. Prior to 2005, the focus was on heroin use, drug injecting & related risks. In the past 15 years, I have focused more on the younger age ranges and have been looking increasingly at other substances, especially alcohol, new psychoactive substances (NPS) and cannabis. I have conducted a number of studies examining treatment outcome. This has included an in depth analysis of the treatment outcome of heroin dependent adolescents who have availed of treatment involving opioid agonist medications. This research is important internationally as this patient group are very high risk but are relatively small in number and the evidence base regarding treatment options is very sparse. This corpus of research constituted a key element of my recently completed PhD. At the population level, drug policy is intensely debated. The arrival and departure of head shops, which sold NPS, in Ireland in 2010 provided an opportunity for a natural experiment of our policies. I have conducted a number of studies examining the harms related to NPS, also as part of my PhD . These studies provide evidence supporting a positive public health impact arising from the Irish legislative approach to head shops, as NPS related addiction declined in young people and drug related psychiatric admissions also diminished. Completion of my PhD has been my priority in past five years, not the pursuit of research funding. Interdisciplinary research within and across institutions has been a strong feature of my research to date. Very diverse methodologies have been required for the various research projects. I plan to build on my established connection with bodies such as the Health Research Board to continue my secondary analysis of existing datasets over the next five years.