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NDRI research

The use of drugs, both legal and illegal, has a significant impact on individuals, families and communities in Australia, costing billions in health, crime, workplace and road trauma costs. That says nothing of the personal toll on individuals and the people around them.

Since the mid-1980s, Curtin’s National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) has conducted high quality research aimed at preventing and reducing harmful alcohol and other drug use in Australia.

NDRI’s research has a strong focus on helping vulnerable and disadvantaged groups to prevent and minimise the harm from alcohol and other drugs in their communities, providing early intervention to prevent or delay legal and illegal drug use among young people, and informing and improving drug policy and community responses. For example, NDRI’s research has recently contributed to: Australian and international alcohol, drug and methamphetamine strategies; evidence-based school interventions; guidelines to reduce alcohol health risks; cannabis regulation policy; and ground-breaking research to find new treatments for ‘ice’ addiction and prevent opioid overdose.

The impact of COVID-19 on alcohol and other drug use is substantial, with implications for prevention, harm reduction and treatment. NDRI researchers are working with collaborators and the community to identify, monitor and respond to the emerging and enduring impacts of this global pandemic.

Your support will advance leading evidence-based Australian research that makes a practical difference to social and health outcomes for individuals, their families and the wider community.

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Specific areas where you can help NDRI continue to make a difference include:

Impacts of COVID-19 – Impact of the pandemic on: final year school students’ alcohol and other drug use and mental health; mental wellbeing and alcohol and other drug use among workers providing essential domestic, family and sexual violence services and support; and homeless Aboriginal people’s physical and mental health, drug use, social support and service use (project in partnership with Wungening Aboriginal Corporation).

Young people and legal and illegal drug use – Educating young Australians through evidence-based alcohol education programs in schools (e.g. SHAHRP), developing common principles for effective programs that ‘reach’ young people, and national monitoring systems to track changing patterns of risking drinking among young people to ensure our responses make a difference ‘on the ground’ (e.g. YAARS).

Aboriginal Australians – Working in culturally secure, meaningful partnerships with Aboriginal communities to develop their ability to respond to legal and illegal drug use and harms as well as ‘breaking the cycle’ of involvement in the justice system and inter-generational violence, especially among young people or between partners (e.g. Beyond Violence, YAWG).

Alcohol policy and strategies – Alcohol causes 60 health conditions and is responsible for almost 600 preventable deaths and 144,000 hospitalisations in Australia each year. NDRI’s internationally renowned Alcohol policy and strategies research team conducts respected multidisciplinary research to challenge public misinformation and ensure alcohol policy and regulation minimises the harm alcohol causes our community, which ranges from cancer, stroke and liver diseases to violence, road trauma and suicide.

Innovative ways to prevent and reduce harm – Ground-breaking research informing policy, strategies and practice interventions to reduce harm from use of alcohol and other drugs (e.g. drug use at music festivals, cannabis market regulation).

The next generation – Investing in early career and PhD researchers to ensure world-leading, high-quality research continues to inform practical, effective responses to alcohol and other drug harm at individual, community and government levels.

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Note: Acceptance of donations is subject to compliance with NDRI's Sponsorship Protocol. NDRI will not accept donations from organisations and companies whose activities depend on or are directly linked to, profit from, or promote the production or use of tobacco, alcohol or gambling.