social justice & public health

The mission of Drug Policy Alternatives is to contribute to the world-wide movement to change the historically unjust and ineffective approaches to drug policy. DPA uses evidence-informed analysis and principles of social justice to inform and encourage active public participation in this movement.


In the Beginning…

Issue #26 August 2023

A classic stereotype of drug users is that they use drugs as an escape from the stresses and hardships of life. Entertainers Robin Williams, Lily Tomlin and Tom Waits have all satirized this notion. Williams is probably the most often cited with his quip…

“Reality is just a crutch for people who can’t handle drugs.”

read more

Mike DeVillaer

Upcoming Presentations

 “Cannabis Legalization in Canada: Is it a Safe Supply?”
Dept. of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences Grand Rounds, McMaster University. Hamilton Ontario. October 4, 2023.

 “Legalizing A Recreational Drug: Cannabis in Canada as a Case Study”
Canadian Society for Addiction Medicine Scientific Conference. Victoria, British Columbia. October 19, 2023.

 “Surprising Stories About Cannabis Legalization in Canada”
Mental Health and Addiction Program Rounds, St. Josephs Healthcare Hamilton, Hamilton Ontario. November 2, 2023.

Recent Media Coverage for DPA

“Four years after legalization, illegal cannabis market still thriving in Canada”
National Post, Oct 17, 2022.

“Health Canada begins it’s long-awaited review of the Cannabis Act”.
Canada Tonight, CBC News Network, September 22, 2022.

What are the Most Popular Drugs in Canada?

What are the Most Popular Drugs in Canada?

Issue #25 July 2023

Statistics on the prevalence of drug use are just that – reflecting only use and not necessarily harm. At an individual level, most people who use drugs do not experience serious harm. However, at the population level, the prevalence of drug use is often directly correlated with the prevalence of drug problems.

read more
Why Do People Use Drugs, Anyway?

Why Do People Use Drugs, Anyway?

Issue #24 June 2023

So, here’s the thing – people want to use drugs, and they take their drugs seriously. Some people’s quality of life, and even their lives, depend upon specific drug products from pharmaceutical companies. The recreational use of legal drugs, such as…

read more
A Drug By Any Other Name (Part 2)

A Drug By Any Other Name (Part 2)

Issue #23 May 2023

In the previous issue of this newsletter, I talked about how drug companies don’t usually call their products “drugs” or even refer to the type of drug they produce or sell. Alcohol and tobacco companies emphasize…

read more