UK Drug Policy Commission

The UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC) was as independent body that provided objective analysis of the evidence concerning drug policy and practice. It ran from 2007 – 2012 and was supported by the Foundation with a total of £2,083,500 in grants.

During the six years UKDPC reviewed recovery and treatment; employment and welfare; enforcement crime and justice; legal controls; impacts of drugs; prevention and public health; stigma and media and strategies, policy and systems. 

According to the Commission, government policy on illicit drugs costs at least £3bn a year but a lack of evidence for what works and provides value for money, together with politicians' unwillingness to act on the evidence that is available, means that much of this money may be wasted on policies that are not cost-effective. In response, UKDPC proposes a new approach to drug policy, based on evidence.

The UK Drug Policy Commission published its final report in 2012.  The report makes a series of recommendations on:

• Supporting individuals to behave responsibly
• Stimulating and promoting recovery from drug dependence
• The laws on drug production, supply and possession; and
• Improving structures and processes for how we make and implement drug policy.

"A commitment to the use of evidence to inform which policies are adopted, combined with rigorous trials of new and existing policies, and a willingness to act on the results of this research, would go a long way towards ensuring that the UK has an effective and good value response to the use of mind-altering drugs."

All of UKDPC's publications and further information about its work can be found at