Professor John B. Saunders is a Professor and consultant physician in internal medicine and addiction medicine. He qualified in science (pharmacology) and medicine from the University of Cambridge, and undertook specialist medical training in internal medicine, gastroenterology and liver disease, and addiction medicine.


His career as a clinician, service director, researcher and academic in the alcohol and drug field extends back over 35 years. He is experienced in all aspects of addictive disorders and is engaged in individual clinical work and in treatment programs together with service standards and evaluation. His research encompasses screening and early diagnosis, brief interventions, assessment instruments, susceptibility to alcohol and drug-related disorders, treatment of alcohol, opioid and psychostimulant disorders and medical education in addiction studies.

John has worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) for many years and was responsible for developing the AUDIT questionnaire (the standardised self-assessment test for alcohol use disorders). He is a member of WHO’s Expert Advisory Panel on Substance Abuse and the ICD 11 Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders Workgroup and was previously Co-Chair of the DSM V Substance Use Disorders Workgroup (2003-2007).

He is Founding and Emeritus Editor-in-Chief of the Drug and Alcohol Review, Section Editor for Addictive Disorders for Current Opinion in Psychiatry, and member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. He has been a member of many state and federal Australian Government committees, including the Australian National Council on Drugs (2001-2007).

Professor Saunders has published three books, including “Addiction Medicine” published by Oxford University Press, “Young People and Alcohol,” and over 300 scientific papers, reviews and book chapters. He is an ISI Highly Cited Scientist, with accumulated citations exceeding 10,000. Read Professor Saunders’ recent research article on the use of synthetic cannabinoids here. You can also reach him via www.jbsaunders.net  

Professor Saunders is a co-author on the Addiction Medicine Handbook – 2nd Edition. You can express interest in the book by emailing jgrant@southpacificprivate.com.au