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Dr. Christian Schütz

Research Lead, Adult Mental Health and Substance Use Services, BCMHSUS

Primary research areas

  • Substance use disorders
  • Dual diagnoses
  • Neurobiological and neurocognitive aspects of impulsive decision making

About Christian G. Schütz, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., FRCPC

  • Investigator, BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services Research Institute
  • Research and Education Medical Manager, Red Fish Healing Centre for Mental Health and Addiction
  • Professor and Scientist, Department of Psychiatry and Centre for Health Evaluation & Outcome Sciences, the University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Member, UBC Institute of Mental Health
  • Member, Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health
  • Member, UBC Neuroscience and the Experimental Medicine program 

Dr. Schütz is a clinical researcher and practicing psychiatrist whose research focuses on understanding relapse and impulsive decision-making mechanisms to improve the treatment of addiction and concurrent disorders.

Current projects include ROAR (Reducing Overdose and Relapse) Canada. The large-scale study seeks to follow up with patients in the mental health disorders system to gauge the effectiveness of treatment. Dr. Schütz and his colleagues began studying at the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction, simultaneously with a treatment facility in Hamilton, Ontario.

“We are conducting interviews with patients and also pulling out data from the charts,” Dr. Schütz says. “We will then complement this information with administrative data so we can see how they were doing before they came to Burnaby Centre, how much time they spent in emergency rooms, and how much time they have spent in hospital and compare that to the two years they have been at the Burnaby Centre, and after.”

In addition, Dr. Schütz looks at cue reduction and researches how triggers induce relapses. “As an addiction psychiatrist, one of the big questions is, ‘what can we do to reduce relapses?’ So it’s important to understand what makes people relapse. Why, when people are stressed, are they more likely to relapse? What drives impulsivity within the context of addiction?” 

Dr. Schütz’s training and research background is in epidemiology and preclinical and clinical behavioural pharmacology. He obtained his MD from the University of Freiburg and his Ph.D. from Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) in Munich. 

A Fogerty Fellowship at the Intramural Research Program of the NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) complemented his clinical training. A psychiatric residency at LMU was followed by a fellowship in clinical neuroscience at Yale University. He also worked as an Oberarzt (attending psychiatrist and lecturer) in the Department of Psychiatry at Bonn University, where his responsibilities included patient care, teaching, and research. In 2008, he joined the faculty of the University of British Columbia. 

Dr. Schütz has published over 140 research articles and a dozen chapters.

Recent publications

View Dr. Schütz's publications on ORCID

Krausz RM, Wong JSH, Westenberg JN, Choi F, Schütz CG, Jang KL. Canada’s Response to the Dual Public Health Crises: A Cautionary Tale. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. 2021;66(4):349-353. doi:10.1177/0706743721993634

Wong, J.S.H., Nikoo, M., Westenberg, J.N. et al. Comparing rapid micro-induction and standard induction of buprenorphine/naloxone for treatment of opioid use disorder: protocol for an open-label, parallel-group, superiority, randomized controlled trial. Addict Sci Clin Pract 16, 11 (2021).

Ehsan Moazen-Zadeh, Kimia Ziafat, Kiana Yazdani, Mostafa M. Kamel, James S. H. Wong, Amir-hossein Modabbernia, Peter Blanken, Uwe Verthein, Christian G. Schütz, Kerry Jang, Shahin Akhondzadeh & R. Michael Krausz (2021) Impact of opioid agonist treatment on mental health in patients with opioid use disorder: a systematic review and network meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials, The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, DOI: 10.1080/00952990.2021.1887202

Ames S.H. Wong, Mohammadali Nikoo, Kiana Kianpoor, Ali Gholami, Majid Jazani, Fatemeh Mohammadian, Neda Y. Lafooraki, Kerry L. Jang, Christian G. Schütz, Shahin Akhondzadeh, Michael R. Krausz, The effects of opium tincture and methadone on the cognitive function of patients with opioid use disorder, Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 169, 2021, 110091, ISSN 0191-8869,

Edalati H, Nicholls TL, Schütz CG, et al. Examining the Relationships between Cumulative Childhood Adversity and the Risk of Criminal Justice Involvement and Victimization among Homeless Adults with Mental Illnesses after Receiving Housing First Intervention. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. 2020;65(6):409-417. doi:10.1177/0706743720902616

Lee-Cheong S, Grewal A, Hestvik L, Rafizadeh R, Schütz C. Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome: A Case Report and Discussion Regarding Patients with Concurrent Disorders. Can J Hosp Pharm. 2020;73(4):290-293

Neilson GE, Freeland A, Schütz CG. Psychiatry and the Opioid Crisis in Canada. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. 2020;65(3):196-203. doi:10.1177/0706743719861118

Hakobyan S, Vazirian S, Lee-Cheong S, Krausz M, Honer WG, Schutz CG. Concurrent Disorder Management Guidelines. Systematic Review. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2020; 9(8):2406.  

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