Emma Zahra

Research Officer

Emma Zahra is a Research Officer at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), Faculty of Medicine, UNSW. Her research focus is drug-related morbidity, mortality and mental health. She is passionate about improving health outcomes through evidence-based intervention, advocacy, support, empowerment and equality.

Emma is currently investigating the financial and social impacts of costs borne by people in Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT). Recent research includes a large collaborative project that quantified the social costs of opioids and cannabis, and two case series investigating the characteristics of cannabis-related deaths and barbiturate-related deaths. Emma facilitated project commencement and completion of a feasibility study at Prince of Wales Hospital Emergency Department. This study investigated the prevalence of chronic pain in people presenting to the Emergency Department with self-harm or suicidal behaviors and the uptake of online interventions delivered by MindSpot post discharge. 

As a Registered Nurse and Master of International Public Health, she has experience in acute care settings (emergency and surgical medicine), health promotion (Cancer Council), and global medical assistance. Emma coordinated medical evacuations and repatriations globally for International SOS. This involved medical care and logistical arrangements for a diverse range of individuals, including marginalized and at-risk populations. Her involvement with refugees and asylum seekers included clinical oversight, medical advice and case direction. In this role Emma also provided coverage for international assistance centres (London, Moscow, Johannesburg and Dubai), medical management of sea vessel and rig personnel, and facilitated specialized care for New Caledonia patients. Aviation and remote medical treatment management skills for complex and critical patients were implemented via telephone and in person during international medical escort missions.

Emma continues to collaborate with senior researchers in epidemiology and public health at NDARC, and other leading drug and alcohol research centres across Australia.

publications

Journal articles
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Tran AD; Chen R; Nielsen S; Zahra E; Degenhardt L; Santo T; Farrell M; Larance B, 2022, 'Economic analysis of out-of-pocket costs among people in opioid agonist treatment: A cross-sectional survey in three Australian jurisdictions', International Journal of Drug Policy, vol. 99, pp. 103472, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2021.103472
2022
Zahra E; Chen R; Nielsen S; Tran AD; Santo T; Degenhardt L; Farrell M; Byrne J; Ali R; Larance B, 2022, 'Examining the cost and impact of dosing fees among clients in opioid agonist treatment: Results from a cross-sectional survey of Australian treatment clients', Drug and Alcohol Review, vol. 41, pp. 841 - 850, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dar.13437
2022
Darke S; Chrzanowska A; Campbell G; Zahra E; Lappin J, 2022, 'Barbiturate-related hospitalisations, drug treatment episodes, and deaths in Australia, 2000‒2018', Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 216, pp. 194 - 198, http://dx.doi.org/10.5694/mja2.51306
2022
Weatherburn D; Darke S; Zahra E; Farrell M, 2022, 'Who would try (or use more) cannabis if it were legal?', Drug and Alcohol Review, vol. 41, pp. 386 - 395, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dar.13360
2022
Campbell G; Darke S; Zahra E; Duflou J; Shand F; Lappin J, 2021, 'Trends and characteristics in barbiturate deaths Australia 2000-2019: a national retrospective study', Clinical toxicology (Philadelphia, Pa.), vol. 59, pp. 224 - 230, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15563650.2020.1789653
2021
Zahra E; Darke S; Degenhardt L; Campbell G, 2020, 'Rates, characteristics and manner of cannabis-related deaths in Australia 2000–2018', Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 212, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108028
2020
Reports
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Whetton S; Tait RJ; Chrzanowska A; Donnelly N; McEntee A; Mukhtar A; Zahra E; Campbell G; Degenhardt L; Dey T; Halim SA; Hall W; Makate M; Norman R; Peacock A; Roche A; Allsop S, 2020, Quantifying the Social Costs of Cannabis Use to Australia in 2015/16, NDRI, T287, https://ndri.curtin.edu.au/ndri/media/documents/publications/T287.pdf
2020
Whetton S; Robert J. T; Chrzanowska A; Neil D; McEntee A; Mukhtar A; Zahra E; Campbell G; Degenhardt L; Dey T; Abdul Halim S; Hall W; Makate M; Norman R; Peacock A; Roche A; Allsop S, 2020, Quantifying the Social Costs of Pharmaceutical Opioid Misuse & Illicit Opioid Use to Australia in 2015/16, NDRI, http://nceta.flinders.edu.au/files/7215/8985/7311/Quantifying_the_Social_Costs_of_Pharmaceutical_Opioid_Misuse_and_Illicit_Opioid_Use_to_Australia_in_2015-16.pdf
2020