Research Projects
Substance misuse To Psychiatric disorders (SToP) Program

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☑ MPhil/PhD ☒ MRes[Med] ☑ URIS

Substance misuse carries significant worldwide physical and mental health threats across population and ethnicity. It is a chronic condition with high relapsing rate and is associated with high personal, societal and economic burdens. Numerous evidence has showed that the commonly abused substances like alcohol and opioids are detrimental to one's physical and mental health. Yet, little is known about the psychoactive effects and the longer term complications to abusers using those ""street drugs"" such as cannabis, ketamine, cocaine and methamphetamine.


SToP program is a research-based program that aims to help individuals with substance misuse problems. Not only treating the co-existing conditions caused by the substance being abused, the ultimate objective is to help the misusers to ""SToP"" using their abused drugs.


To provide updated evidence and to develop effective strategies to combat psychoactive substance misuse by focusing on clinical pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions in substance misuse psychiatry, epidemiology on substance misuse, epidemiology on substance misuse and psychiatric co-morbidities, and the prediction of conversions from substance misuse into psychiatric disorders.

Research Plan and Methodology: Students can engage in one of the following research programs to develop systematic review and meta-analysis, interventions, longer term complications and epidemiological studies for commonly abused drugs in Hong Kong:

  1. SToP-C: Substance misuse To Psychiatric disorders for Cannabis
  2. SToP-K: Substance misuse to Psychosis and psychiatric disorders for Ketamine
  3. SToP-S: Substance misuse to Psychosis for Stimulants (including Cocaine and Methamphetamine)
  4. SToP-COVID: Substance misuse to Psychiatric disorders-the change in habit of psychoactive drug use in psychoactive drug users with psychiatric co-morbidity under COVID-19.

Professor KKA Chung, Department of Psychiatry


HKU Scholars Hub
Laboratory Homepage

For more information or to express interest for this project, please email the supervisor or the specified contact point in the project description.  Interested candidates are advised to enclose with your email:

  1. your CV,
  2. a brief description of your research interest and experience, and
  3. two reference letters (not required for HKUMed UG students seeking MRes[Med]/URIS projects).

Information on the research programme, funding support and admission documentations could be referenced online at the Research Postgraduate Admissions website. General admission enquiries should be directed to

HKUMed MBBS students interested in the Master of Research in Medicine (MRes[Med]) programme may visit the programme website for more information.  

HKUMed UG students interested in the Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme (URIS) may visit the scheme’s website for more information.