A/Professor Michael Mc Donough

Clinical Director and Director, Outpatient Services, Drug and Alcohol Services SA
August 2018
Each issue we ask someone from the alcohol and other drugs sector to share a little about their work and life.


This weekend I will… hit my favourite trails in the Adelaide Hills on my mountain bike.

I wish I'd never… had the need to depend on spectacles!

I'd originally planned to work… in the Victorian Alpine region where there are also great mountain bike trails; glad I chose Adelaide!

The qualities I most value in my colleagues are… good humour, competence and compassion.

If I had more time, I'd… learn to speak Italian (um, spend even more time on my bike!)

For my next holiday… I love Tassie and New Zealand.

Career wise, I’m most proud of… becoming Victoria’s Chief Advisor on Addiction Medicine 2011-2016 (then, getting 21st in XC mountain bike race at the World Masters Games in Melbourne 2002).

The key priorities for the AOD sector going forward are… To be partners in developing an effective Integrated Care System.

My vision for the AOD sector in South Australia is… To be the Australian leaders for best practice in delivering and maintaining access to quality assured AOD treatment for our indigenous community and also for our remote community regions.

A/Prof Michael McDonough

is currently employed as Clinical Director at Drug and Alcohol Services, South Australia/DASSA (a collaborating centre for WHO). Previously he was the Head of the Addiction Medicine & Toxicology Unit at Western Health (based at Footscray Hospital) for over 20 years. This Unit provided treatment for inpatients and outpatients referred because of tertiary problems related to Substance Use Disorders. A/Prof McDonough developed a specialist clinic for patients with chronic pain and problems with opioid analgesics and engaged in clinical teaching and research in this area. Also, at Western Health, he had been engaged in a variety of drug related committees including Pharmaceutical Utilisation, Medication Safety and he was chairman of the ADR Committee. In the past, A/Prof McDonough served on the Coroner's Inquiry into Heroin Overdose Deaths in Victoria, conducted research on Methadone related deaths in Victoria, and was an invited presenter at a Parliamentary Committee on Drug Abuse in 200. He has extensive medico-legal experience (Coroner, WorkCover, TAC, Medical Board/AHPRA, CASA etc) in the area of Substance Use Disorders and related morbidity and mortality. A/Prof McDonough has a current special interest in Quality Use of Medicines, Clinical & Forensic Toxicology, particularly in relation to Addiction Medicine practise. From 2010 to 2015, A/Prof McDonough acted as Chief Adviser in Addiction Medicine to the Department of Health (Vic).