Dr Llewellyn Mills
Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr Llewellyn Mills

Doctor of Philosophy (Awarded 24/01/2017, Graduated 04/06/2018)

Thesis title: The Role of Expectancy in Drug Withdrawal

Supervisors: Assoc. Professor Ben Colagiuri and Professor Bob Boakes

Bachelor of Science, Honours Class I (2009 to 2012)

Thesis title: The Role of Ketosis in Starvation-Induced Activity in Rodents

Supervisor: Professor Bob Boakes

Introduction to Machine Learning Techniques for Health (8th November, 2019)

Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

University of Melbourne

Medicine & Health
National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre

As a young man I did a degree in Philosophy and English Literature at the University of Newcastle and then tried to make it as a professional musician. When that didn't work out I enrolled in the Graduate Diploma in Psychology at the University of Sydney. I matriculated with a Bachelor of Psychology degree (Hons-I) and enrolled in a PhD at USyd under the supervision of Associate Professor Ben Colagiuri. My topic was placebo drug withdrawal, especially how people's beliefs about how much of a drug they currently have in their body affect the way they experience drug withdrawal. I used caffeine withdrawal to model this process because (a) there are an almost unlimited supply of people who are addicted to caffeine, (b) because the consequences of caffeine withdrawal and addiction are not so severe, I could use experimental techniques such as deception that are necessary to accurately emulate real-world placebo effects but which would be completely unethical with participants with dependence on more serious drugs.

Later in my PhD I got a job as a research assistant with Professor Bettina Meiser at the Psychosocial Research Group (UNSW). There I analysed data and wrote manuscripts for two multisite, NHMRC-funded, cluster-randomised clinical trials, incredibly valuable experience. 

Shortly before I submitted my PhD in September 2017 I got a job as an Honorary Research Associate with the Specialty of Addiction Medicine, University of Sydney and Drug and Alcohol Services, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, a job which I still hold today. Under the supervision of my boss Professor Nicholas Lintzeris I have worked on a vast array of projects, including:

  • the Sativex trial, a clinical RCT testing the efficacy of a THC/CBD cannabis agonist in treating cannabis use disorder
  • the Cannabis as Medicine Surveys, anonymous online surveys conducted in 2016, 2018, and 2020 measuring the experiences of people using cannabis medicinally in Australia following the 2016 legalisation of cannabis for medical use
  • various sub-studies within the Clinical Outcomes and Quality Indicators project (COQI, an umbrella project implementing outcomes and risk monitoring via electronic medical records as part of routine clinical practice).

I love my job and have learnt so much from Nick, Kristie, Sarah, Rachel, and Emma in the research team and all of the clinical staff at the Langton centre.

In October 2021 I commenced work with the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC). Similar to my role at the Langton I have a wide-ranging brief and am very excited to see where this new opportunity takes me.

National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, 22-32 King St, Randwick NSW 2031

  • 2021: NCCRED

Seed Funding and Capacity Building Grant - $42,537 (lead-investigator)

  • Examining the effects of Amphetamine-Type substance use on clinical outcomes among clients receiving opioid agonist treatment
  • 2019: Mindgardens 

Clinical Translational Research Program$150,000 (co-investigator)

      • Optimising Comorbidity Care via Clinical Information Systems
  • 2018: National Centre for Clinical Research on Emerging Drugs (NCCRED) Capacity Building funding application – $104,000 (co-investigator).
      • The MAData Project: Developing a Clinical Data Laboratory for Methamphetamine Use in NSW

  • Travel Grant Award SIPS Conference, 2017. (3 awarded from 200+ presentations). Based on presentation The Role of Expectancy in Caffeine Withdrawal: The Cost of Being Informed.


Publication Metrics: h-index excluding self-citations: 5, ResearchGate score: 23.32, Articles: 18, Total Times Cited: 108


        1. Lintzeris, N., Deacon, R., Hayes, V., Cowan, T., Mills, L. et al (2021). Opioid agonist treatment and patient outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic in south-east Sydney Australia. Drug and Alcohol Review.
        1. Mammen, K., Mills, L., Deacon, R., Bruno, R.,…Lintzeris, N. (2021). Determining clinical cutoff scores for the Australian Treatment Outcomes Profile Psychological Health, Physical Health, and Quality of Life questions. Drug and Alcohol Review.
        2. Wilson, H., Schulz, M., Mills, L., & Lintzeris, N. (2021). Feasibility and outcomes of a general practice and specialist alcohol and other drug collaborative care program in Sydney, Australia. Australian Journal of Primary Health. 
        1. Deacon, R., Mammen, K., Bruno, R., Mills, L., …Lintzeris, N. (2020). Assessing the concurrent validity, inter-rater reliability, and test-retest reliability of the Australian Treatment Outcomes Profile (ATOP) in alcohol and opioid treatment populations. Addiction.
        1. Arkell, T., Lintzeris, N., Mills, L., Suraev, A., Arnold, J.C., McGregor, I. (2020). Driving-Related Behaviours, Attitudes and Perceptions among Australian Medical Cannabis Users: Results from the 2018-2019 Cannabis as Medicine Survey (CAMS-18). Accident Analysis and Prevention. 148.
        1. Lintzeris, N., Mills, L., Dunlop, A., Copeland, J., McGregor, I., Bruno, R., et al. (2020). Cannabis use in patients 3 months after ceasing nabiximols for the treatment of cannabis dependence: Results from a placebo-controlled randomised trial. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 215. (Writing and All Data Analysis).
        1. Lee, J.C., Mills, L., Hayes, B.K., & Livesey, E.J. (2021). Modelling generalization gradients as augmented Gaussian functions. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 74.1. 106-121. 
        1. Lintzeris, N., Mills, L., Suraev, A., Bravo, M., Arkell, T., Arnold, J.C., Benson, M.J., & McGregor, I. (2020). Medical cannabis use in the Australian community following introduction of legal access: the 2018-2019 online cross-sectional cannabis as medicine survey (CAMS-18). Harm Reduction Journal.17 (1), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12954-020-00377-0.
        1. Deacon R., Mammen, K., Holmes, J., Dunlop, A., Bruno, R., Mills, L., Graham, R., & Lintzeris, N. (2020). Assessing the validity of the Australian Treatment Outcomes Profile for telephone administration in drug health treatment populations. Drug and Alcohol Review. 39(5), 441-446.
        1. Mills, L., Lintzeris, N., Bruno, R., Montebello, M., Dunlop, A., Deacon, R.M., Copeland, J., Jefferies, M., Rivas, C., & Mammen, K. (2020). Validation of the Australian Treatment Outcomes Profile (ATOP) for use in clients with cannabis dependence. Drug and Alcohol Review. 39(4), 356-364.
        1. Norberg, M., Newins, A., Crone, C., Ham, L., Henry, A., Mills, L., & Dennis, P.A. (2019). Why are Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages Especially Risky? Addictive Behaviors, 98.
        1. Lintzeris, N., Bhardwaj, A., Mills, L., et al. (2019). Nabiximols for the treatment of cannabis dependence: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Internal Medicine. 179.9, 1242-1253. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.1993.
        1. Mills, L., Boakes, R.A., & Colagiuri, B. (2018). The effect of dose expectancies on caffeine withdrawal symptoms during tapered dose reduction. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 33, 994-1002.
        1. Mills, L., Meiser, B., … Mitchell, P. (2019). A cluster randomised controlled trial of an online psychoeducational intervention for people with a family history of depression. BMC Psychiatry, 19.1, 29.
        1. Meiser, B., …Mills, L., Kirk J. (2018). Psychological outcomes and surgical decisions after genetic testing in women newly diagnosed with breast cancer with and without a family history. European Journal of Human Genetics 26, 972-983.
        1. Mills, L., Dar-Nimrod, I., Colagiuri, B. (2017). Effect of Genetic Information and Information about Caffeine Content on Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms. Scientific Reports, 7, 1-10
        1. Mills, L., Boakes, R. A. & Colagiuri, B. (2016). Placebo caffeine reduces withdrawal in abstinent coffee drinkers. Journal of Psychopharmacology 30, 388-394.
        2. Norberg, M. M., Newins, A. R., Mills, L., & Ham, L. S. (2016). Psychometric validation of the Anticipated Effects of Alcohol Mixed with Energy Drinks Scale. Psychological Assessment. 29, 1505-1516. 




  • Australasian Professional Society for Alcohol and Drugs (APSAD), Hobart, Tasmania, November 10-13, 2019.
    • Oral Presentation: Efficacy of Nabiximols in Reducing Frequency of Cannabis Use 3 months After Treatment Cessation: Results from a Randomised Controlled Trial.
    • Oral Presentation: Medicinal Cannabis Use in Australia, Circa 2018:
      The Cannabis As Medicine Survey (CAMS-18).
    • Oral Presentation: Speaker 4: Clinical Outcomes and Quality Indicators (COQI) Symposium, Applying the framework: Examples and opportunities for research.
    • Poster: Validation of the Australian Treatment Outcomes Profile (ATOP) for use in clients with cannabis dependence.
  • Australasian Professional Society for Alcohol and Drugs (APSAD), Auckland, New Zealand, November 5-8, 2018.
    • Oral Presentation: Information About Caffeine Dose Affects Withdrawal During Dose Tapering Procedures.
    • Poster: Effect of Patient Beliefs About Treatment Allocation on Outcomes in Clinical Addiction Trials
    • Poster: All or Nothing: Issues Surrounding the Measurement and Analysis of Frequency of Use Data.
  • Society for Interdisciplinary Placebo Studies (SIPS), Leiden, The Netherlands, April 2-4, 2017. Oral Presentation: Harnessing Nocebo Withdrawal in Tapered Dose Reductions
  • International Congress of Behavioural Medicine, Melbourne Australia, Dec 7-10, 2016.

Oral Presentation. The Role of Expectancy in Caffeine Withdrawal: The Cost of Being Informed.

  • Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies: 50th Annual Convention, New York City, USA, Oct 27-30, 2016.

Poster Presentation. The Role of Expectancy in Caffeine Withdrawal.

  • Annual Experimental Psychology Conference 2015, University of Sydney. April 8-11, 2015. Oral Presentation. How Misattribution, Assimilation, and Causal Inference Contribute to Placebo Effects.
  • 12th Annual Conference Australasian Society for Behavioural Health And Medicine (ASBHM), Perth Western Australia, 2015.

Oral Presentation: The Role of Expectancy in Caffeine Withdrawal.

  • I am currently on the working group developing new course content for the Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine course offered as part of the Bachelor of Medicine
  • I have lectured the Science and Statistics section of the PSYCHOLOGY 1001 (PSYC1001) Summer School course at University of Sydney