Drug Policy Australia is a public health NGO primarily concerned with promoting new approaches to minimise the health risks and other harms caused by the use of both licit and illicit Drugs which affects the wellbeing of all Australians.

Facts change minds

"We believe that legally enforced abstinence is unrealistic and counter-productive in modern Australia which has one of the highest per capita consumption rates of illicit drugs in the western world."

According to the 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey published by the Australian Government's Institute of Health and Welfare, 3 million Australians aged over 14 used illicit drugs within the preceding 12-months. It is estimated that Australians spend over $7 billion a year on illicit recreational drugs.

Read more >>

Current Articles


What is NBOMe?

Explainer: what is NBOMe?

Stephen Bright, Curtin University and Monica Barratt, Curtin University

NBOMe is an abbreviation for N-methoxybenzyl. While NBOMe is often referred to as a drug, it's not a singular drug but a series of drugs that contain an N-methoxybenzyl group.

The most common NBOMes that are used recreationally are extensions of the 2C family of phenethylamine psychedelics that were discovered by Dr Alexander Shulgin. Some, such as 2C-B, became popular in the 1990s as a substitute for MDMA (commonly referred to as ecstasy). The 2C-B NBOMe derivative is 25B-NBOMe. Other common NBOMes include 25I-NBOMe and 25C-NBOMe.

computer-girl.jpg NBOMe drugs can be purchased online. Image from shutterstock.com

Read more >>

New Killer Drugs in Australia?

Is Australia really being flooded by new killer drugs?

Stephen Bright, Curtin University and Monica Barratt, UNSW Australia

Recent media reports have suggested Australia is set to be flooded with new types of deadly "synthetic" drugs.

Don't worry, as far as we know, there's no "turbo-charged version of ice" on its way. And we need to steer clear of drug-related moral panic, which increases stigma and makes it harder for users to seek help.

But there is a potential for significant harm in Australia if we don't have adequate systems in place to monitor our drug markets and respond rapidly when specific dangers are detected.

Read more >>

How big a problem is ice use among Indigenous Australians?

Nicole Lee, Curtin University and Sarah J MacLean, La Trobe University

While rates of methamphetamine use in Australia have remained fairly stable at 2.1% over the past ten years, there has been a shift among people who use the lower-grade powdered form of methamphetamine (speed) to using the higher-grade crystal form (ice) in recent times.

Ice is much stronger than speed and has the potential to cause greater problems.

Purity and availability have increased, while the price of both speed and ice has decreased. The number of people using weekly or more has grown, which is an indication of dependence.

Read more >>

A drug-free world is an impossible dream - UNGASS 2016

In 1998, a special session of the United Nations General Assembly agreed to set a 10-year deadline to make the world "drug free". After an embarrassing failure to achieve this goal, the deadline was extended a further 10 years, setting the world up for another inevitable failure in 2019.

In the intervening years, the use, availability and variety of illicit drugs have escalated exponentially. It is estimated by the UK charity Transform Foundation that 300 million people worldwide used illegal drugs in 2012, contributing to a global market with a turnover of $US330 billion a year.

“A Drug-Free World: We Can Do It.”

Read more >>

Australia legislates for 100% GMO Biotech Cannabis not Marijuana

A recent Survey by Roy Morgan Research shows 91% of Australians are supportive of medical Cannabis.

Medicinal Marijuana

However, what most people do not know is that the Cannabis Australia is allowing to be imported for the first time includes GMO Cannabis. GMO or Genetically Modified Organism Cannabis has been around since 2011 due to breakthroughs in research and Biotechnology by Ethan Russo and GW UK helping in the process. In 2014 even newer GMO Cannabis strains has been introduced.


In early April 2016 as we speak, an Australian delegation is traveling to Asia to look at GMO Cannabis with no THC, and in mid-2016 brings the who’s who of the GMO Biotech Cannabis community to NSW for a conference. There is a real danger that GMO will take over as the dominant medical Cannabis seed stock.

Read more >>

Australia's recreational drug policies aren't working, so what are the options for reform?

Nicole Lee, Curtin University and Alison Ritter, UNSW Australia

Police dogs harass and arrest music festival patrons

Some of the greatest harms from using illicit drugs are because they are illegal.

Illegal drug production is unregulated and many drugs are manufactured in backyard labs. Users cannot be sure what’s in them or how potent they are, so the risk of adverse reactions, including overdose and death, is high.

A large proportion of the work of the justice system – police, courts and prisons – is occupied with drug-related offences. Many people have a criminal record for possessing drugs intended for personal use, which can affect their work prospects.

Read more >>