Dr David Alexander Leonard Newcombe

BA, BA (Hons), PhD


Dr David Newcombe is Senior lecturer in Alcohol and Drug Studies and has over fifteen year's experience working in the addiction sector in New Zealand and Australia.  He completed his undergraduate degree in psychology and neuroscience at Flinders University and doctoral studies in psychopharmacology at Adelaide University in South Australia. Previously he worked at the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research in the Treatment of Drug and Alcohol Problems at University of Adelaide where he was involved with many large multinational multi site studes (including the validation of the Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST)).  In addition to his teaching responsibilities he is an Associate Director of the Centre for Addiction Research at University of Auckland.

His current research interests include; Evaluating screening and brief interventions for problematic drug use in different contexts; the use of pharmacotherapy for treating addiction disorders; the cognitive effects of drugs of abuse through the lifespan; and the impact of co- existing problems (including prescription medication use) on well-being.

Research | Current

Research interests

  • Screening and brief interventions for problematic alcohol and drug use
  • Clinical pharmacology of pharmacotherapies used for the treatment of dependence
  • Cognitive effects of drugs of abuse
  • The impact of co- existing problems (including prescription medication use) on well-being.

Teaching | Current

   I  coordinate the following courses: POPLRAC 765: Co-existing Disorders - Theory and Principles POPLHLTH 738: Biology of Addiction POPLHLTH 773: Pharmacotherapeutic Responses to Addiction POPLHLTH 212: Biobehavioural Aspects of Drug Use. And contribute to the following: POPLPRAC 708: Assessment and Intervention with Addiction

Postgraduate supervision

Currently supervising post graduate students undertaking the following research:

  • Development, reliability and validity of a questionnaire to screen for problematic internet use
  • Pharmacokinetics and dose response characteristics of cytisine for smoking cessation
  • Evaluation of outcomes at a Drug Treatment Unit (Masters)
  • Evaluation of a  computerised CBT Programme in AOD Services (Masters)



Academic Director, Alcohol and Drug Studies Programmes Academic Director, Masters of Health Sciences (Addiction and Mental Health) Associate Director, Centre for Addiction Research http://www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/cfar

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Member, Australian Professional Society of Alcohol and Other Drugs

Chair, Training Providers Network

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Lintzeris, N., Monds, L., Rivas, C., Leung, S., Dunlop, A., Newcombe, D. A., ... Montebello, M. (2018). Transferring patients from methadone to buprenorphine: The feasibility and evaluation of practice guidelines. Journal of Addiction Medicine10.1097/ADM.0000000000000396
  • Sheridan, J., Adams, P., Bullen, C., & Newcombe, D. (2018). An evaluation of a harm reduction Summer School for undergraduate health professional students. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 25 (2), 118-129. 10.1080/09687637.2016.1262824
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Janie Sheridan, Chris Bullen
  • Newcombe, D. A., Somogyi, A. A., Bochner, F., & White, J. M. (2017). Impaired psychomotor function and plasma methadone and Levo-Alpha-Acetylmethadol (LAAM) oncentrations in Opioid-Substitution patients. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 25 (3), 223-233. 10.1037/pha0000114
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/34057
  • Adams, P. J., Sellman, D., Newcombe, D., Adamson, S., White, S., Deering, D., & Todd, F. (2017). Postgraduate alcohol and other drug practitioner training in New Zealand: Significant influences. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 78 (3), 468-474. 10.15288/jsad.2017.78.468
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/35108
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Peter Adams, Sam White
  • Jeong, S., Newcombe, D. A., Sheridan, J., & Tingle, M. (2017). Measuring plasma cytisine concentrations, cigarette craving, withdrawal, smoking satisfaction and mood to investigate the concentration-effect relationship in smokers. Paper presented at Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco 2017 Annual Meeting (SRNT 2017), Florence, Italy. 8 March - 11 March 2017. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Soo Hee Jeong, Janie Sheridan, Malcolm Tingle
  • Saxton, P., Newcombe, D. A., Ahmed, A., Dickson, N., & Hughes, A. (2017). Illicit drug use among New Zealand gay and bisexual men: Prevalence and association with sexual health behaviours. Drug and Alcohol Review, 1-8. 10.1111/dar.12536
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Peter Saxton
  • Howell, A., Newcombe, D., & Exeter, D. (2017). The geography of methamphetamine manufacture in New Zealand between 2004 and 2009. Policing : a journal of policy and practice, 1-12. 10.1093/police/pax013
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Daniel Exeter
  • Sheridan, J., Towers, A., Minicuci, N., Kowal, P., & Newcombe, D. A. (2016). How Much is How Much? Measurement of Alcohol Consumption in Longitudinal Studies of Ageing. Paper presented at Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs Conference 2016, Sydney, Australia. 30 October - 2 November 2016. Drug and Alcohol Review. 10.1111/dar.12484
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Janie Sheridan


Contact details

Primary location

TAMAKI BUILDING 730 - Bldg 730
Level 3, Room 342
New Zealand

Web links