About Us

DPMP Overview

The Drug Policy Modelling Program (DPMP) aims to improve Australian alcohol and drug policy. Drug policy, drug use and drug harms are dynamic: DPMP does not have a set view of what drug policy should be – rather the key goal is to help generate effective Australian drug policy based on the best research findings.

DPMP is at the cutting edge of international work in alcohol and drug policy and has received its core funding from the Colonial Foundation Trust, a private Australian philanthropy. DPMP also attracts competitive research grants from the Australian Research Council and the National Health & Medical Research Council, among others. DPMP is part of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at the University of New South Wales which is supported by funding from the Australian Government. DPMP collaborates with a wide range of stakeholders including government departments, drug consumer groups and peak bodies; and conducts commissioned research for governments across Australia.

DPMP is led by NDARC in partnership with the Burnet Institute, the Alcohol Policy Research Centre at Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, the National Drug Research Institute, the University of Queensland, and the University of Wollongong. A list of our collaborating centres can be found here.

Goals of the DPMP are to:

  • build systems and approaches to enhance evidence-informed illicit drugs policy;
  • develop and adapt new tools and methods for policy makers;
  • show the value of these tools by dealing with specific problems raised by policy makers;
  • generate new ideas and insights that can lead to new policy;
  • conduct rigorous research that provides independent, balanced and non-partisan analysis and improves the quality of the evidence; and
  • evaluate the effectiveness of the tools, methods, policy support and new interventions.

DPMP aims to achieve its goals through three key activities:

  1. generating new research evidence;
  2. translating evidence for policy makers; and
  3. studying how policy actually gets made.

All work is underpinned by a focus on capacity-building: encouraging researchers from other areas to work in the alcohol and drugs domain; providing consultancy and support to policy makers to improve their use of research evidence; providing a vigorous doctoral research program; working in partnership with existing drug research centres and teams across Australia; bringing international expertise to Australia; and disseminating our work to researchers, policy makers and the public.


Our team spans Complex Systems Science, Criminology, Economics, Epidemiology, Integration and Implementation Sciences, Law, Medicine, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health, Public Policy, Sociology and Systems Thinking. We aim to facilitate new drug policy insights, ideas and interventions that would not have been possible or apparent through the study of one aspect, or from one disciplinary perspective. Our interdisciplinary approach reflects the richness and complexity of the real world of drug use and drug policy.

For more information about DPMP see:
Ritter, A., Bammer, G., Hamilton, M., Mazerolle, L., & the DPMP team. (2007). Effective drug policy: A new approach demonstrated in the Drug Policy Modelling Program. Drug and Alcohol Review, 26(3), 265-271.
Link to article



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