A/Prof Shalini Arunogiri

A/Prof Shalini Arunogiri awarded AIPS VIC 2023 Young Tall Poppy

Addiction is recognised as the most stigmatised health disorder globally, with an estimated $80 billion burden annually in Australia. When stigma results in incorrectly blaming the individual, it can create a barrier to accessing evidence-based effective care. This issue drives Shalini’s commitment to community engagement, combating stigma and raising awareness that addiction is treatable.

By treating addiction like any other health disorder, investing in addressing the gaps in awareness, treatment innovation, and evidence translation could revolutionise outcomes for individuals and families living with addiction.

Shalini’s research program addresses this gap in innovation and translation, utilising perspectives from her clinical work as an addiction psychiatrist to inform a clinical trial program into medication and psychological treatments for addiction. This work particularly focuses on addressing related mental health comorbidity, including trauma-related mental health problems.

Shalini’s work also aims to translate research evidence into training and clinical pathways for frontline workers and embed what we know works into scalable, cost-effective approaches that are accessible for all Australians.