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Improving illicit drug policy in Australia : the Drug Policy Modelling Project (DPMP)

Australian Institute of Criminology, Alison Ritter
05 October 2005 -

A/Prof Alison Ritter


Good illicit drug policy is informed by the evidence and takes into consideration the dynamic interactions between different policies responses. The DPMP seeks models that can contribute to a stronger evidence-base for policy decision-making and assessing the optimal mix of law enforcement, treatment, prevention, and harm reduction interventions. The methods that DPMP has used include unique integrative and cross-disciplinary approaches, and the models include economic, system dynamics and agent-based modelling and systems approaches. The project also involves understanding policy processes, networks of influence and other mechanisms of participatory policy development.

The results to date include a systematic review of law enforcement, an analysis of current Australian government spending, a cost-effectiveness analysis of treatment options, a stocks and flows model of heroin prevalence, and policy-relevant information on heroin price and purity. These results will help inform evidence-based illicit drug policy.

About the presenter

Alison Ritter - PhD, MA (Clin Psych), BA (Hons), MAPS

Alison Ritter is a Senior Research Fellow at Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, and a Principal Fellow at the University of Melbourne. She has specialised in alcohol and drug treatment and research, and is currently conducting a major drug policy research program. She is involved in providing high-level policy advice to government. She is widely published in the alcohol and drug field, including multiple clinical practice guidelines, editor of a textbook (Drug Use In Australia) and peer review journal articles. She is a member of CPDD, the APS (Board of Clinical Psychologists), and is the Vice President of the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and Drugs.