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Our mahi

The Drug Foundation Te Puna Whakaiti Pāmamae Kai Whakapiri is a catalyst for change. We work collaboratively on ground-breaking interventions and policies that reduce harm and demonstrate the change we want to see.

To achieve our vision for an Aotearoa free from drug harm we:

  • Staunchly advocate for health-based and evidence-led drug laws and policies
  • Develop innovative solutions and interventions to reduce drug harm
  • Coordinate cross-sector groups to prevent and respond to acute harm
  • Deliver harm reduction services and advice to keep our communities safe

We work alongside and collaborate with a wide variety of alcohol and other drug practitioners, government, ministries, health promotion agencies, not-for-profit organisations, scientists, researchers and individuals.

Here's some of our current work

A man and woman sitting at a table looking at ipads, with advice cards and pamphlets arranged on the table.

Drug checking

Legalised in 2021, drug checking is a critical harm reduction intervention that reduces harm by telling people if their drugs aren't what they expect. We are one of three licenced drug checking providers, delivering free public clinics so that people make more informed decisions. Drug checking also helps to alert the wider community of anything dangerous that's circulating. 

In 2022, 33% of the 1720 samples we checked were somewhat or completely different to what people thought they had.

As part of our work, we coordinate a collaborative of drug checking providers, ESR, High Alert, the Ministry of Health and Te Whatu Ora to share trends and oversee the continual improvement of the service.

Laptop sitting on surface. Screen shows a purple web page that says "A straight up guide to Drug information".

The Level - straight up harm reduction advice

The Level is our online harm reduction platform for people who use drugs, delivering straight up, non-judgemental information about what to expect from different drugs and advice on how to stay safer. It helps more than 180,000 New Zealanders learn, think and talk about their drug use each year. 

View The Level
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Developing evidence-based drug policies and interventions

We regularly develop advice and reports on drug use, harms and best-practice responses for government, ministries and other organisations. We also make submissions to select committees and inquiries. We advocate for health-based approaches that don't compound harm by criminalising and punishing people who use drugs. Most recently we've published a suite of measures to reduce overdoses.

Supporting New Zealand's drug early warning system

We contribute to New Zealand's early warning system for dangerous drugs, High Alert. The system is a crucial tool to preventing drug harm in the community, providing timely alerts about dangerous drugs, and helping to identify where drug harm is occurring. 

Blue square with white text that says "Community of practice" with a black underline.

Coordinating a community of practice for acute drug harm responses

The Drug Foundation coordinates a community of practice of over 30 health agencies to build a community of practice in responding to acute drug harm incidents in Aotearoa New Zealand. Together, this group supports innovative responses to acute drug harm, building best practice and sharing the latest drug trends.

Learn about the community of practice

Tūturu - a modern approach to student wellbeing

Tūturu is a uniquely Aotearoa approach that brings schools and health services together, so that students can learn, be well, and be prepared for a modern world.

Tūturu helps by aligning:

  • What students experience in the school environment that helps them to develop.
  • The critical thinking skills students learn through the resources we produce.
  • How students are supported at school when issues arise.
  • How professional services provide additional support to schools.
  • How the wider community of school, whānau, and services help students lead healthy, successful lives.
View the Tūturu website