Victorian psychologist banned after supplying patient with ‘ice’ and faking drug tests

Melissa Meehan
AAP
2 Min Read
A psychologist who supplied crystal meth to a patient has been banned from practice for seven years. (HANDOUT/UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA)
A psychologist who supplied crystal meth to a patient has been banned from practice for seven years. (HANDOUT/UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA) Credit: AAP

A psychologist who supplied crystal methamphetamine to a patient and asked others to take urine tests on her behalf to hide her own drug use has been banned for seven years.

Maria Cassar admitted to supplying or offering crystal methamphetamine, amphetamine and Xanax to a patient on multiple occasions.

She also tried to hide her own drug use by asking two former patients to take mandated drug tests on her behalf.

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Ms Cassar was ultimately suspended from practice in April 2019 and she has not practised since then.

The Psychology Board of Australia cancelled Ms Cassar’s registration on Thursday and barred her from applying for registration for another two years.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, led by presiding member Jonathan Smithers, found Ms Cassar engaged in professional misconduct in relation to six allegations spanning from January 2016 to March 2019.

“Ms Cassar’s personal and professional lives were intertwined in a way which would horrify ordinary psychologists,” Mr Smithers said.

“She allowed herself to operate more and more outside the boundaries which apply to psychologists carrying out ordinary reputable, ethical and safe practice ... she became involved in regulating one patient’s drug consumption, and in supplying drugs to her, including the illicit drug, methamphetamine.”

The tribunal noted that the five years Ms Cassar did not practise for was a “long suspension” but said the lengthy timeframe was contributed to significantly by her dishonest responses.

“Ms Cassar’s breaches of her professional obligations were wide-ranging and serious,” Mr Smithers said in his findings.

“We are not satisfied she is ready to resume practice.”

In a personal statement to the tribunal in March 2024 Ms Cassar said she regretted supplying drugs to the patient and was not making good decisions at the time given the state of her own mental health.

She said she felt burned out after 20 years of working under pressure with people suffering trauma after a long trouble-free career.

“My behaviour has resulted in reputational damage, humiliation and a level of disrepute to the profession and this will hang over my head like a life sentence which I have to wear even though I am a changed person,” she said in her statement.

Ms Cassar is unable to to provide any health services including mental health, psychology or counselling or apply for registration until May 2026.

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