Lives Lived Well’s clients are accessing new and improved clinical treatment for problems with drugs and alcohol, thanks to our research partnership with The University of Queensland (UQ), which has just entered its sixth year.

Traditionally, the translation of health research into clinical practice takes around 17 years*. This partnership with UQ enables us to deliver leading-edge supports to clients in a much shorter timeframe.

“Through this partnership involving postgraduate researchers and clinicians, we have been able to bring new treatments into our clinical practice to better aid clients in a matter of months, not years,” said Lives Lived Well’s Clinical Director, James Curtain.

Lives Lived Well renewed its research partnership with UQ following a successful five-year collaboration which saw a number of new programs for the treatment of problematic drug and alcohol use developed and offered to Lives Lived Well’s clients.

The research partnership included the creation of a Professor of Alcohol, Drugs and Mental Health at UQ in 2017, as well as a commitment to contribute resources towards research on what treatments are most effective for helping people overcome difficulties with substances and mental health and wellbeing.

Professor Leanne Hides has been leading the UQ School of Psychology’s contribution to the research partnership. Since 2017, Lives Lived Well and UQ have worked closely to identify opportunities to develop and trial new treatments, and then add these treatments to the supports Lives Lived Well clinicians can offer clients.

The partnership has proved incredibly rewarding for both organisations, not only for clients accessing the support but also for the clinicians delivering treatment.

“Lives Lived Well is focused on providing evidence-informed treatment,” James said. “We want our clients to have confidence that the treatments we offer will be effective.

“In partnership with UQ, we have developed a set of outcome measures that our clinicians use with their clients, to track progress against a range of measures. For clients, being able to see their improvements over weeks and months is really motivating – it encourages them to keep going when things get tough.

“Working with UQ, our team has designed new treatments and rolled these out across our services. For example, the GRIT Wellbeing Program, Reframe and First Step are all new programs that are increasingly available to people accessing our services to support them with their recovery. These all reflect cutting-edge thinking and are best practice.

“We are always looking for ways to improve our clinical treatment program, and this partnership with UQ helps us to deliver world class evidence-based support for clients which positions Lives Lived Well as leaders of clinical treatment for drug and alcohol misuse in Australia.”

In 2021 the research partnership won the prestigious Partnership Excellence category in the UQ Research Partnerships and Translation Awards.

*Morris, Z. S., Wooding, S., & Grant, J. (2011). The answer is 17 years, what is the question: understanding time lags in translational research. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 104(12), 510-520.