Callaghan, Dr. Russ

Russ Callaghan
PhD Psychology (University of Toronto - 2004), MA Psychology (UBC - 1996), BA Psychology (UBC - 1992) Professor
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Before arriving at the Northern Medical Program (NMP) in January 2013, Dr. Callaghan graduated with a PhD (Psychology) at the University of Toronto and worked as a Research Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health – Canada’s largest psychiatric and addiction research and treatment hospital. Currently, Dr. Callaghan is a Professor in the NMP, and holds holds an Affiliate Professor position in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia.

Research and Expertise

Over the last seven years or so, a major line of my research program has focused on estimating the impacts of cannabis use on human health. This line of research has produced a series of studies assessing the relation between cannabis use (or cannabis-use disorders) and a range of health outcomes, such as:

(1) Persistent psychotic syndromes (Callaghan, et al., 2011);
(2) Mortality patterns (Callaghan, et al., 2012);
(3) Fatal and non-fatal motor vehicle collisions (Callaghan, et al., 2013);
(4) Development of cancer in humans (Callaghan, et al., 2017);
(5) Lung cancer (Callaghan et al., 2013); and
(6) Testicular cancer (Callaghan, et al., 2017).

Ongoing and future work will assess the impacts of Canada’s cannabis legalization on a range of outcomes, including fatal and non-fatal motor vehicle collision injuries, cannabis-related criminal incidents, cannabis-use disorders and cannabis poisoning, and transient and persistent psychotic syndromes.

My research efforts also include examination of the historical roots of the concept of mindfulness, Buddhist influences on mindfulness theory and practice, and the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions on health.

Currently accepting graduate students

Available to supervise graduate students at UNBC, as well as at the School of Population and Public Health at University of British Columbia (

Available to be contacted by the media as a subject matter expert

Selected Publications

  • Callaghan RC, Cunningham JK, Verdichevski M, Sykes J, Jaffer RS, Kish SJ. All-cause mortality among individuals with disorders related to the use of methamphetamine: A comparative cohort study. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2012;125(3):290-294.
  • Callaghan RC, Cunningham JK, Allebeck P, et al. Methamphetamine use and schizophrenia: A population-based cohort study in California. Am J Psychiatry. 2011.
  • Callaghan RC, Gatley JM, Veldhuizen S, Lev-Ran S, Mann R, Asbridge M. Alcohol- or drug-use disorders and motor vehicle accident mortality: A retrospective cohort study. Accid Anal Prev. 2013;53:149-155.
  • Callaghan, RC, Allebeck, P, Sidorchuk, A (2013). Marijuana use and risk of lung cancer: a 40-year cohort study. Cancer Causes & Control, 24:1811-1820.
  • Callaghan, RC, Allebeck, P, Akre, O, McGlynn, KA, Sidorchuk, A. (2017; in press). Cannabis use and incidence of testicular cancer: a 42-year follow-up of Swedish men between 1970 and 2011. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. 2017;26(11):1644-1652.
  • Callaghan RC, Verdichevski, M, Fyfe, T, Gatley, JM. Does cannabis use increase the risk of developing cancer in humans? A review of literature from 2004-2014. In V.R. Preedy (Ed.), Handbook of cannabis and related pathologies: Biology, diagnosis treatment and pharmacology. 2017. London: Elsevier.

For all of Dr. Russ Callaghan’s publications, please visit his Google Scholar page.