Founded in 2010 by Professor David Nutt following his removal from post as Chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, DrugScience is the only completely independent, science-led drugs charity, uniquely bringing together leading drugs experts from a wide range of specialisms to carry out groundbreaking original research into drug harms and effects.
Its highly cited papers on all aspects of drug effects and harms attract global coverage and considerable public interest. DrugScience reduces the harms of drugs to the public through providing objective information on drug effects, harms and potential medical uses to the public, professionals and decision makers.
Every day I find myself invited to make the argument for a rational, evidence-based approach to drug policy and drug use. As a scientist I find it frustrating that the debate on drugs, both legal and illegal, is coloured by political and moral concerns, and often ignores the evidence. DrugScience continues to emphasise the role of science in the public discourse, providing information on the actual harms of various drugs and challenging the myths that surround drug classification and legislation in the UK.
We have big plans: to provide free evidence-based drugs education for schools; to set up a confidential email-based drugs advice service; to create and host daily media watch, factchecking drugs-related news stories and calling out those that misrepresent the evidence. Our work often challenges perceived wisdom and for that reason can appear to be contentious, but I believe that we must continue to strive for a change in thinking. I’m hopeful of seeing improved public literacy in critical and scientific thinking around drugs. Using evidence in public policy should not be controversial. I am calling on you, our supporters, to support the work that we do. We rely on your donations to provide scientific information on drugs, to provide an evidence-based point of view to the media in an area rife with misinformation and to carry out research that will benefit society.